ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Ranjit SauSubscribe to Ranjit Sau

A Ballad of Singur: Progress with Human Dignity

The idea behind the car factory in Singur was one of using market principles of growth to transform a predominantly agrarian society. This idea, envisaged by the state government, failed because it did not take into account the important aspect of the value of land to peasants and the dignity it accorded to them. The opposition to the car factory, on the other hand, never had a concrete alternative in mind and did not understand the necessity for peasants to also benefit from individual progress, a process of development that is possible only through industrialisation.

Second Industrialisation in India: Land and the State

Industry today faces an acute shortage of land to set up factories and it has to draw upon farm land. Because the very news of a proposed industrial project site breeds speculation of a boom in land prices, no one wants to sell. While there is no better agency than the government to acquire land for industry, protest is inevitable due to the logic of the situation. This is a classic case of the irresistible (industrialisation) dashing against the immovable (millions of peasants and artisans confined to their station). The knot can be broken by opening a window for the latter. This note shows how.

How Modern Are We? Why Be Modern? Be Rational

How Modern Are We? Why Be Modern?
Be Rational RANJIT SAU The first three sections of this note annotate certain statements of Meera Nanda in her article

Democracy and Reform:Voices in West Asia

The US plan for reforms in the Arab world, called the Greater Middle East Initiative, has evoked mixed reactions among Arabs, even as suspicions of US intentions remain widespread. However, the people of the Arab lands are eager for genuine social, political and economic reform, for which there needs to be unity among the people themselves. Arabs could look at the Kerala Jama'at model as a step towards greater solidarity among the peoples of the region.

'It's the Economy, Stupid!'

As the American presidential election campaign gets underway, Democrats and Republicans alike show a surprising superfluity in their understanding of basic economic concerns. On the other hand, fear of terrorism has gripped the nation; yet political parties are confused about the nature of the threat, and parochial about the identification of the target of assault.

Theatres of Oil Wars

The world oil market has long been at the mercy of the cartel led by Saudi Arabia, in connivance with the US. It will be rendered extremely vulnerable in the event of a worsening of the Iraq situation that engulfs the entire region. The oil market is overdue for structural reform, and Arabia needs moderation and stability in oil prices.

Recognition to Witchcraft

The history of India is one of inchoate assimilation of disparate tribes - their respective myths, customs and cults left fairly intact, only incoherently unified in a hierarchical order. This process of absorption was relatively humane by international standards, but it became the precursor of a swamp of superstitions. Placating these superstitions - as evidenced most recently by the felicitation of witch doctors, shamans and sorcerers - might momentarily bring votes to the politician in election times, but it will only exacerbate the deeper fissures.


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