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

Articles by Vithal RajanSubscribe to Vithal Rajan

Preparing for CoP 111

The last planeload carrying participants from the COP 11 meeting of the international Convention on Biodiversity has flown out of Hyderabad, much to the relief of its citizens who were all inconvenienced for two weeks by the razzmatazz. One wonders if the 111th Conference of the Parties, when it...

'Foreign Hand' and the Anti-Koodankulam Movement

Amartya Sen’s felicitous metaphor which celebrated an aspect of an open middle class Indian society has been harshly disproved by no less a person than the mild-mannered Manmohan Singh when he followed the practice of Indira Gandhi in seeing a “foreign hand” behind democratic opposition. Even when...

The Beltway Mob

The article “Gender Equality in Local Governance in Kerala” by Praveena Kodoth and U S Mishra (EPW, 17 September 2011) was enlightening. It gives valuable information on how men view elected women representatives and the problems faced by the latter for want of previous experience. All political,...

'A Disappearing Number'

It is no wonder that Complicité’s A Disappearing Number, a play loosely based on Hardy’s admiration for Ramanujan, has won several awards in the west and continues to run to packed houses in the West End of London. It was recently brought to Mumbai and Hyderabad through the good offices of the...

South Asian Brown Haze

The “South Asian Brown Haze” is a term used by scientists to describe the huge permanent cloud of dust that obscures the skies over the subcontinent as a result of systematic deforestation and desertifi cation over the last 50 years. It is a term that could well be used to signify the self-contained...

Gross Human Rights Abuse of Bradley Manning

We read with distress about the gross human rights abuse of Bradley Manning, in the Los Angeles Times editorial (10 January), and The Guardian report (21 January). As President Barack Obama of the United States himself admitted a few days ago during the visit of President Hu Jintao of China: “...

The Curious Case of the Nobel Peace Prize

There is no question that the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo should be released from prison, but on what basis did the Nobel Peace Prize Committee award the 2010 prize to him? The recent history of the peace prize shows that the award committee is focused on promoting western values - even North Atlantic ones - and admonishing those states or cultures that pose a challenge to this world view.

Killing the MFI Golden Goose

With microfi nance institutions being embroiled in controversies, the only viable way to reach much-needed credit to the poor might be to revitalise their own cooperatives. Through the intermediation of such bodies, large nationalised banks like the State Bank of India could completely cut out the middle class middlemen structure of the MFI and deal directly with poor village women, creatively extending the concept of "banking correspondents" to that of "barefoot bankers".

The Tragic Hero

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh holds a unique position in Indian politics. Even his bitterest rivals have never accused him of corruption, so rampant among his peers. The Indian people honour him for his simplicity, accustomed as they are to the high lifestyle of many politicians. And yet, this man...

A Case for Opium Dens

Indian industry got its first tranche of capital accumulation in the 19th century when the Tatas joined hands with the Sassoons and the British to force opium onto the Chinese. The addicts in China in that period took to opium to drown their unpleasant reality in momentary dreams, while knowing in...

Srikrishna Committee and the Simon Commission

Mircea Eliade, the philosopher, held that all traditional cultures conceived of time as circular, and that linear time was a late invention. One notices some very interesting parallels between the Srikrishna Committee to look into the question of the formation of Telangana state, and the Simon...

The Natives Continue To Be Restless

Perhaps, if, instead of implementing a new generation of Rowlatt Acts, the government had tried providing education, public health, jobs, development and fair play to all the different poor minority communities over which it exercises power, there might have been little violence to tackle, and those communities participating democratically might have fully cooperated with the law and order machinery in identifying and handing over any miscreants.

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