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

Rohini HensmanSubscribe to Rohini Hensman

Undermining Patriarchy, Empowering Women

Bangladeshi Women Workers and Labour Market Decisions – The Power to Choose by Naila Kabeer; Vistaar Publications, New Delhi, 2001; pp 464 , Rs 575 (hardback).

Only Alternative to Global Terror

The ongoing strikes on Afghanistan have once again focused attention on the dual strands of terrorism that bases itself on communalism and imperialism. Both strands seek to repress various freedoms and in cases, even justify the human rights violations on the part of their perpetrators. The need then is to uphold virtues of secularism, for only a truly secular state can safeguard human and democratic rights for all concerned. Further, institutions and machinery to deal with violations of fundamental rights become equally vital in situations where governments persistently fail to do so.

Religious Sentiment and National Sovereignty

The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas raises a fundamental issue - of national sovereignty. It may be argued, after all, that since the Buddhas were situated in Afghanistan, its rulers have the right to do as they wished with them. Clearly, the outrage felt by the world at the fate of the Bamiyan Buddhas implies a widespread belief that these monuments are part of a cultural heritage of humankind as a whole. Should the notion of national sovereignty be abandoned altogether?

Globalisation and Informalisation

Globalisation has had a twofold impact on working women - growing informalisation and fragmentation of work on one hand and expansion of opportunities, on the other. However, the onus of protecting worker rights lies with the government, which more often than not abdicates its responsibility. A recent international workshop in Seoul concluded with six core demands that included among others - implementation of core ILO conventions and setting up secure social safety nets for women workers.

World Trade and Workers' Rights

Indian, and other developing countries', opposition to linking trade and labour standards is not so much anti-imperialist as prodomestic business. Allowing exploitation of labour anywhere in the world undermines the rights of all workers around the world. It is possible to incorporate labour standards in trade agreements to help workers everywhere. The institutional resources of the ILO, with funds from the WTO, will make implementation possible.

Marxist and Feminist Theories and Women s Labour

Indian Group that "many Bengali bhadralok [in the 1890s] were unused to reading Bengali". Rabindranath's decision to set up Visva Bharati was not prompted by the 'mediocrity' of Calcutta University and established eduational institutions, but by the fact that these had to operate under the supervision of the education department of the British government. Similarly in Visva Bharati, Rabindranath was able to share his vision with a remarkable gathering of scholars and teachers coming from all parts of the country. The inspiration for Visva Bharati had its origin in the search for an indigenous system of higher education which would not, however, reject modern knowledge; this impetus which is an aspect of the national movement also contributed to the foundation of the National Council of Education, to the setting up of national institutions of scientific research, and to the development of scientific discourses in the Bengali language in the same historical period. The letter on Shriniketan (the centre for vocational training at Bolpur) written to Leonard Elmhirst (September 3, 1932) makes very clear the need he perceived for relating scientific pursuits to the lived life of the people in the locality, however 'low' and 'inept' it may be from the point of view of the elite. The editors, in my opinion, have to some extent overlooked how Rabindranath's vision even when it responded to the international situation, was shaped by the tensions of the lively political and cultural atmosphere in Bengal. It is a lopsided view which see Rabindranath as a misunderstood genius in his own country turning for sympathy to his friends abroad.' One of the difficulties of a selection like this is that the letters translated from Bengali are extremely selective. They get fewer towards the end. On the other hand, the English letters cover only some specific areas of Rabindranath's interest. As such, if these are meant to serve as an introduction to the poet for western readers, they are likely to go away with a very partial idea of this 'myriad-minded man' as the editors themselves call him. His continuous dialogue with the nationalists, his interest in the Soviet experiment, the connections that he saw in the 1930s between western capitalism and Fascism remain underemphasised in the selection.

Minimum Labour Standards and Trade Agreements-An Overview of the Debate

Trade Agreements An Overview of the Debate Rohini Hensman What accounts far the consensus among employers, the government and national trade union leaderships on rejection of the social clause specifying minimum labour standards in multilateral trade agreements? Does it represent the interests of rank-and-file workers? Who will benefit from this opposition?

Outline of an IR Theory of Industrial Conflict

Focusing on Bombay, locations around Bombay and more distant labour market areas in the state and on the basis of a sample of about 180 plants or other establishments controlled by 125 companies belonging largely to the private sector, this paper elaborates an industrial relations theory of industrial conflict Conflict is seen as part of a bargaining process and the notion that the strike experience of individual plants is determined fundamentally by the industry to which they belong is rejected. Conflict is seen as belonging not to the plant itself but to its experience and the space described is phenomenological and not objective. Consequently there is no determinism which can explicate a pattern of conflict and the diversity of available choices does not bind workers to set responses. Likewise even if management behaviour conforms to certain determinisms even managers have choices. The study concentrates on plants in manufacturing sectors which may be called 'modern', that is, whose evolution was a product of the industrial expansion of the 1950s.

Capitalist Development and Underdevelopment-Towards a Marxist Critique of Samir Amin

Towards a Marxist Critique of Samir Amin Rohini Hensman "Rich in insights and panoramic in scope as it is, Amin's hook under review will remain a lasting contribution to the theory of capitalist development, and the practice of the struggle for national economic liberation in the three continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America/' This is the opinion of a previous reviewer of Samir Amins book, "Accumulation on a World Scale: A Critique of the Theory of Underdevelopment'', in these columns.

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