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

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Dalits and Their World

Valerian Rodrigues Dalits in Modern India, Vision and Values edited by S M Michael; New Delhi, Vistaar, 1999; pp 353, Rs 425 (cloth). COMPILED volumes on dalits have been proliferating in the last decade or so as political dynamics, electoral politics, non-governmental initiatives and, to some extent, social mobilisation have begun to focus on this constituency. Unfortunately, the same period has seen few full length studies, with years of toil and reflection behind them, on this social segment. The

The Unwieldy Civil Society

and that is what probably matters in slowing down power consumption and perhaps to that extent withdrawal of groundwater. As regards kink in the demand curve, it may be occurring ata very low price range because of the factors mentioned by the author, and for all we know such a kink may give rise to wasteful extraction of water. Insofar as switching to diesel pumpsets by the farmers at some point in response to hike in electricity tariff is concerned, pricing of diesel ought to reflect its social opportunity cost which then will be equally prohibitive for such a switch. The basic issue in this regard is the expenditure on electricity incurred by a farmer in irrigating a hectare of land as a proportion of total cost of cultivation per hectare and/or gross value of output per hectare. So long as these proportions are very small, farmers' responsiveness to a hike in electricity tariff is bound to be less. As regards the question of equity loss due to hike in power, the interest of small and marginal farmers can betaken careof through subsidised crop loan provided by the agencies looking after their interest.

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