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

Articles by Sohini SenguptaSubscribe to Sohini Sengupta

How To Stir Confusion Amidst a Pandemic: COVID-19 and Misinformation on WhatsApp

Like participants in the party game, truth or dare, members of large WhatsApp groups express a limited number of truths, but are dared to consume or refute massive volumes of misinformation.

How WhatsApp ‘Truths’ Thrive on Middle-Class Anxieties

Security and responsibility are persistent themes in the ‘junk’ information that spreads rapidly on middle class WhatsApp groups with large memberships. The ‘affordances’ of social media enables ‘emotional targetting’ of messages that claim to be about ‘true’ incidents.

Hidden Hunger, Burdened Women

Reminiscent of poverty debates, serious undernutrition in India risks becoming a measurement quibble, unless we talk about unequal development gains and the answerability of governments towards less empowered citizens. Based on the simple counting of food consumed by 240 households and conversations with women, this article explores the contrast between local knowledge of what constitutes a “good diet” and the deficient meals consumed by people in Odisha, a state in eastern India. Effective interventions need to look beyond “maternal responsibility” and address entitlement uncertainties and gender inequality, in order to ensure essential nutrition and good health of vulnerable groups such as women and children.

World Commission on Dams

Dams have been the epitome of modernisation and development cornering a large share of public resources in many countries. It is only fair that dams are opened to public scrutiny and informed debate on performance, benefits and negative impacts. The World Commission on Dams (WCD) created to address the conflicting positions around the dams debate, gathered a wide cross section of information, experiences and perspectives to unfold the dams story to the public arena. Despite the diversity of views represented by the commissioners, the main conclusions of the WCD final report are consensual. What WCD has provided through its intensive consultative process and its final report is an impartial and informed basis for continued dialogue involving all stakeholders. Greater and more constructive engagement in the WCD process provides the opportunity to end acrimonious encounters, restore confidence of all stakeholders to reach a settlement and reaffirm their commitment and responsibility towards equitable and sustainable development.

Political Economy of Irrigation

Tank irrigation is the appropriate technology for Orissa. Where land distribution is equitable, tanks can provide food security. But where landownership is skewed, tank irrigation can hasten land alienation and promote a shift to water intensive hybrid mono cropping. Uniform community stakes are necessary to use tanks for sustainable agriculture.

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