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

Articles by Sripad MotiramSubscribe to Sripad Motiram

The Dissolution of 'United' Andhra Pradesh

This paper explores the political economy of growth and distribution in Andhra Pradesh by dividing the period since 1956 (when the state was formed) into four different regimes. AP has transformed from an agriculture-based economy at the time of its formation to a service-sector based economy today. A political economy narrative of the process is described with focus on three important cleavages - class, caste and region. It is argued that there has been a crisis for both the idea and materiality of AP for a while that has now led to an imminent dissolution of the "united state". The development of a particular variety of capitalism in AP has happened through the successful wearing down of two major radical mobilisations (during the 1930s-50s and 1970s-90s) and through a counter-radical episode of primitive accumulation that began in the 1980s which continues till today.

The Tragedy of Identity

Trying to shed light on the Bodo-Muslim conflict in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District and neighbouring areas of western Assam, this paper locates the conflict in its larger context and attempts to identify the recent factors that have contributed to insecurity among various groups in this region. It also reflects on conflicts among groups in general, and in India in particular. The findings suggest that conditions for further violence exist in this region, and some factors that could contribute to this are highlighted.

Understanding Poverty and Inequality in Urban India since Reforms

Having grown considerably in the past two decades, Indian cities have become highly unequal spaces - economically, spatially, socially and culturally. Both quantitative approaches and qualitative methods have been used to study and measure the rising levels of inequality and the extent of poverty of the cities. While both have their problems, this paper claims that notwithstanding their respective limitations, these two approaches have captured different dimensions of the complex Indian urban process, even if they have rarely made an effort to speak to each other. The authors offer their own perspective on how these approaches can learn from each other and move forward.

Tragedy of the Commons Revisited (I)

Despite constitutional and legislative commitments to protect the commons, they are under threat across India. This article on the plight of commons in the peasant economy of Karimnagar in Telangana, which have been endangered by quarrying, argues that the commons are neither properly understood in this country nor are there adequate rules to govern them. Resistance to encroachment of the commons is either seen as illegitimate or lacking in sufficient legal grounding. Such resistance is then overpowered with ease and impunity by a coalition of private entrepreneurs, civil servants, politicians and their scions, all of whom reap enormous profits

How Close Does the Apple Fall to the Tree?

Using data from the India Human Development Survey 2005, this paper examines intergenerational occupational mobility in India, an issue on which very few systematic and rigorous studies exist. It groups individuals into classes and documents patterns of mobility at the rural, urban and all-India levels, and for different caste groups. It finds substantial intergenerational persistence, particularly in the case of low-skilled and low-paying occupations, e g, almost half the children of agricultural labourers end up becoming agricultural labourers. The paper also documents differences across caste groups. Overall, the results suggest considerable inequality of opportunity in India.

Imagined Problems in Computing Wealth Disparities

A rejoinder to K G K Subba Rao's comment on the paper on wealth disparities (EPW, September 22) responds to Rao's specific criticisms and further, addresses other shortcomings in the all-India debt and investment surveys.

Patterns of Wealth Disparities in India during the Liberalisation Era

This paper examines patterns of wealth disparities in India using the all-India debt and investment surveys (1991 and 2002). We find that there have been increases in wealth levels in the country across virtually all groupings, accompanied by a small but perceptible rise in the level of interpersonal wealth inequality, whether examined by summary measures such as the Gini coefficient or by centile shares of wealth. We examine differences in wealth holdings by state and income in the two surveys as well as disparities according to socio-economic categories in 2002. There have been sharp differences in the growth rates of wealth holdings in the middle and upper income states on the one hand and poor states on the other, suggesting divergence in wealth outcomes. Faster growing states have seen larger increases in wealth inequality. Finally, there are large differences in the levels of wealth holdings according to socio-economic categories.

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