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

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Statement of Social Scientists

We, as social scientists, scholars, teachers and concerned citizens, feel extremely concerned about the lynching at Dadri, and the murders of scholars and thinkers like M M Kalaburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and others, and wish to register our strong protest. We are not just shocked by...

Defend the IITs

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are widely acknowledged as premier academic institutions both in India and across the world. Today, it would be hard for anyone to deny that the success of the IITs, instituted by an Act of Parliament in the 1950s, has largely been due to the autonomy of...

Defend the IITs

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are widely acknowledged as premier academic institutions both in India and across the world. Today, it would be hard for anyone to deny that the success of the IITs, instituted by an Act of Parliament in the 1950s, has largely been due to the autonomy of...

Wound, Waste, History

Wounds are expected to heal. Our very conception of victims and victimhood is based on this hopeful axiom. But not all wounds heal, some remain in a constant state of decay, degenerate, and ultimately risk turning into waste too. It is this possibility of waste that this article explores. The 1984 violence is one of those historical wounds that has neither faded from public memory nor fully healed. At the heart of this unhealing wound is the question of justice that has long been denied to the victims. The judicial affidavits prepared in early 1985 not only narrate the violence that unfolded systematically, but three decades later testify to the inability of the state apparatus to help heal its wounded citizens.

Sex Ratio, Khaps and Marriage Reform

The move by the Satrol khap of Haryana to relax some restrictive marriage norms and induct women and youth into the khap is perhaps a response to demographic and market economy challenges. Patriarchal structures get challenged when material conditions alter. Besides the skewed sex ratio, a generational transition is also underway. More off-farm work and greater nuclear living detach individuals from traditional structures of support and force them to strike out on their own.

The 'Emerging' Middle Class

This article is a look at the subtext of the transition from the politics represented by the United Progressive Alliance government to that represented by the Bharatiya Janata Party. On another level, an ethnographic reading of the voters' mood before the polls in parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh showed calm confidence and clarity in looking at the choices before them; few of them were emotional about the step they were about to take. Narendra Modi's catchy slogans were on the lips of many but this was no motional wave; it was more like contracting a new service provider to see whether he would deliver.

Mapping the Adverse Consequences of Sex Selection and Gender Imbalance in India and China

Rapid fertility declines in China and India and the advent of technologies for sex determination have contributed to the birth of fewer girls. As a result, both countries today have an excess of males and a shortage of females. Much of the work on adverse sex ratios until now has largely dealt with the identification, patterns, and causes of skewed sex ratios, and not their consequences. This review examines the emerging literature on the social consequences of the gender imbalance, and the five papers that follow explore the relationship of sex ratios with other social dimensions.

Signs of Change?

Attempting to ascertain whether the skewed sex ratio in three northern districts of India has led to a change in sex-selective behaviour and related practices, this study finds that a shortage of brides is associated with willingness to compromise on rules of clan exogamy, and with a reduced demand for dowry. There is also a shift in inheritance patterns and increased societal acceptance of husbands living with their wives' parents in uxorilocal residence. In addition, more women are likely to be aware of their legal entitlement to a share of their parents' property, and to give less importance to the cultural construct of a son preference. It has to be seen whether all this will bring about a long-term change in patriarchal social structures.

Marriage and Migration

The web version of this article corrects a few errors that appeared in the print edition. This paper explores issues of agency, marital experience and citizenship in the context of a specific form of women's marriage migration that is taking place in both national and transnational contexts, much of this phenomenon spurred by skewed sex ratios in Asian countries. The resulting bride shortages in female deficit regions and countries have led to the "import" of women from areas with better sex ratios. The paper explores this "import" of brides from West Bengal and Bangladesh, and unravels the differences in the marital experience of cross-national and cross-regional Bengali brides. Focusing on issues of citizenship and religion, and how they affect these women and their children from such marriages, it calls for the provision of meaningful support structures for such brides, the first step towards which would be to acknowledge the growing volume of female deficit-induced cross-region marriages.

India Inc. and Its Moral Discontents

When and how did corruption become the most urgent crisis facing the Indian nation? This question is yet to be addressed adequately in the ongoing debates on corruption in India. This article turns its attention to the role of India Inc. in shaping the anti-corruption movement which coalesced around popular discontent successfully harnessed by civil society organisations and big corporations with ideological support of global fi nancial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It argues that the moral panic about the lowered levels of ethical values in society is no longer merely a matter of individual integrity and concern. The urgent actions stem from the belief that corruption has a severe economic meaning for the nation especially to its brand image in the world as an "attractive investment destination". The fear of losing investments underpins the active participation of corporate players in the anti-corruption movement.

The Intimate Enemy

The terrorist attacks by Anders Breivik in Norway have exposed the deep violence which has been nurtured in this and other European countries by an emergent Right-wing which has normalised hate speech and extreme politics under the cover of "free speech". Thankfully, this incident has roused people to oppose this insidious use of a core liberal value to propagate extremist Right-wing politics and for the first time in many years, Right-wing attacks on migrants and Muslims are being publicly opposed.

Khap Panchayats, Sex Ratio and Female Agency

While many intelligent reasons have been proffered for the recent resurgence of khap panchayats in Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh and their actions vis-à-vis self-choice marriages, two very important aspects of the phenomenon need to be highlighted. The first is the impact of the abysmal sex ratio, which is a result of rampant female sex selective abortions, neglect of girl children and a minuscule but still present female infanticide. The second is that it is only women in this male-dominated society who have publicly stood up to the might of the khap panchayats and are challenging their writ.

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