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

A+| A| A-

Broadbasing of Indian Democracy

Letters

Solution for Reservations

T
he debate over reservations in institutes of higher education has produced much heated controversy and divided friends, and even members of the same family. I think I have found the perfect solution that can heal wounds and be acceptable to everybody.

Students from rural or poor families are seeking reservations primarily because they have little working acquaintance with English as a medium of instruction, and hence get lower marks than students educated in better schools in the English medium. At the same time students who get higher marks are agitating for entrance to institutions to be decided purely on merit, and their cause is very just since all youngsters should have a level playing field, so to speak.

Hence I propose that to judge entrance purely on merit, students from English medium schools be asked to write their exams in any Indian language of their choice, including their mother tongue, while the poorer students battle it out in English which is truly a “foreign language” for them. Then let marks obtained decide the issue.

VITHAL RAJAN

Hyderabad

NREGA: Absence of Ownership

I
t was quite interesting to go through the field observations on the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in Jharkhand (July 22, 2006), which suggest that the NREGA programme may well follow the same path as the earlier wage employment programmes. The involvement of students from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University in the field investigation should be appreciated. It may be a trendsetter for involving students in a similar exercise in other parts of the country.

We are convinced that the “absence of owning by the political parties” is an important issue that needs to be addressed. Our field experiences on the pre-launch preparedness of NREGA in Kerala have thrown up similar observations. The authors’ point that the “absence of gram panchayats and gram sabhas in the state” has created an institutional vacuum at the field level is also revealing. We agree with their argument that the institutionalisation of the panchayati raj system is required for better administration of the NREGA. However, this may not be a single precondition for better implementation of NREGA, as evident from our Kerala experience. There are larger issues of political economy involved. An analysis of political economy may bring out a possible explanation for the current status of NREGA administration in different parts of the country.

We understand that the authors are undertaking similar studies in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. It would be quite revealing, if a similar study is done in Kerala as well.

(Continued on p 3440)

Correction

In the review, ‘Development Economics: Old, New and Newer’ (July 8), the author of the chapter on ‘Social Capital’ should be John Harriss, not John Sender as published.

Subscription

Inland

(Rs)

Six One Two Three months year years years

Institutions – 1250 2300 3300 Individuals 500 935 1750 2500

Concessional Rates

Teachers/Researchers – 685 – 1800 Students – 450 – –

Concessional rates are available only in India. To avail of concessional rates, certificate from relevant institution is essential. Remittance by money order/bank draft preferred. Please add Rs 35 to outstation cheques towards bank collection charges.

Nepal and Bhutan

Institutions – 1500 – 4150 Individuals – 1250 – 3500

Foreign

(US $)

Air Mail Surface Mail

Institutions

1yr 2yrs 3yrs 1yr 2yrs 3yrs Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh 80 150 200 65 120 175 Other countries 150 275 375 90 170 240

Individuals Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh 50 90 125 30 50 75 Other countries 100 175 240 65 120 170

All remittances to:

Economic and Political Weekly

Economic and Political Weekly

Hitkari House, 284 Shahid Bhagatsingh Road, Mumbai 400 001 Phones: 2269 6072/73 Fax: (022) 2269 6072 epw.mumbai@gmail.com edit@epw.org.in Editor (December 1969-January 2004) : Krishna Raj

Editor : C Rammanohar Reddy

Deputy Editor : Bernard D’Mello

Assistant Editors : Anuradha Kumar, Vimala Subramanian, Sheba Tejani Bharati Bhargava (Delhi)

Editorial Staff : Prabha Pillai

Editorial Consultant : Gautam Navlakha (Delhi)

Circulation : Gauraang Pradhan (Manager), B S Sharma circulation@epw.org.in

Advertisement Manager : Kamal G Fanibanda advt@epw.org.in

General Manager and Publisher : K Vijayakumar

EPW Research Foundation

C 212, Akurli Industrial Estate, Kandivali (East) Mumbai 400 101, Phones: 2887 3038/3041 Fax: (022) 2887 3038. epwrf@vsnl.com

Director : S L Shetty

Economic and Political Weekly August 5, 2006

Letters

(Continued from p 3338)

Some of the observations on Jharkhand can be tested in this state as well.

JOS CHATHUKULAM AND K GIREESAN

Kottayam

Broadbasing ofIndian Democracy

T
he article by Sankaran Krishna (June 10, 2006) on the autobiography of Raja Ramanna captures the real picture of the Indian middle class and its aspirations.

The middle class and its authoritarian mindset keeps revealing itself in the Indian public sphere. The Nehruvian period was dominated by the upper caste-oriented Indian middle class. The Emergency brought out its real character. The total support of this middle class to the ruling elite in such periods revealed its fascist nature.

The Mandal I implementation by the central government showed the anti-subaltern mindset of this class. Currently, the anti-reservation struggle of upper caste students is bringing out the age-old ‘manuvadi’ mindset of the Indian professional middle class, which is also expressed through its overall dominance in the media.

It forgets the ongoing process of broadbasing of Indian liberal democracy. The social justice movement of India has been democratising the social base of the Indian middle class. The upper caste-oriented middle class has to accept this reality – that it is losing its monopoly – although it has obtained a new space in the “globalised” middle class.

C K VISHWANATH

Kannur, Kerala

Notes to Contributors

Here are some guidelines fortake up to six to eight months from the address, day-time phone numbers andauthors who wish to make date of acceptance to appear in the email address. submissions to the journal. EPW. Every effort will, however, be made (The email address of writers in the Special

to ensure early publication. Papers with Article, Commentary and Discussion

Special Articles

immediate relevance for policy would be sections will be published at the end ofEPW welcomes original research papers considered for early publication. Please the article.)

in any of the social sciences.

note that this is a matter of editorial * Authors are requested to prepare their

* Articles must be no more than 8,000

judgment. soft copy versions in text formats. PDF

words, including notes, references

versions are not accepted by the EPW.

and tables. Longer articles will not be Commentaries

Authors are encouraged to use UK Englishprocessed. EPW invites short contributions to the spellings (Writers using MS Word or

  • * Contributions should be sent in a hard ‘Commentary’ section on topical social, similar software could change thecopy format accompanied by a floppy/ economic and political developments. These appropriate settings in the LanguageCD version. A soft copy can also be should ideally be between 1,000 and 2,500 menu of the application).sent by email. Hard and soft copy words and exclusive to the EPW. * Contributors are requested to send articlesversions of articles are essential for Short contributions may be sent by email. that are complete in all respects, includingprocessing. references, as this facilitates quicker
  • * Special articles should be Book Reviews processing. accompanied by an abstract of a EPW sends out books for review. It does * When there are major developments in
  • maximum of 150-200 words. not normally accept unsolicited reviews. the field of study after the first submission,
  • * Papers should not have been However, all reviews that are received are authors can send a revised version. simultaneously submitted for publication read with interest and where a book has not EPW requests writers not to send to another journal or newspaper. If the been sent out for review, the unsolicited review revised versions based on stylistic paper has appeared earlier in a different is on occasion considered for publication. changes/additions, deletions of version, we would appreciate a copy of references, minor changes, etc, as this
  • Letters

    this along with the submitted paper. poses challenges in processing.

    Readers of EPW are encouraged to send comments and suggestions (300-400 words)

    * Graphs and charts prepared in MS * All submissions will be acknowledged

    Office (Word/Excel) or equivalent software immediately on receipt with a reference

    on published articles to the Letters column. number. Quoting the reference numberare preferable to material prepared in

    All letters should have the writer’s full name in inquiries will help.

    jpeg or other formats.

    and postal address. * EPW posts all published articles on its web site and may reproduce them on CDs.

    * Every effort is taken to complete early

    processing of the papers we receive.

    Discussion

    Since we receive more than 35 articles Address for communication:

    EPW encourages researchers to comment

    every week and adequate time has to be Economic and Political Weekly,

    on Special Articles. Submissions should be

    provided for internal reading and external Hitkari House,

    1,000 to 2,000 words.

    refereeing. It can take up to four 284 Shahid Bhagatsingh Road, months for a final decision on whether General Guidelines Mumbai 400 001, India. the paper is accepted for publication. * Writers are requested to provide full Email: edit@epw.org.in,

    * Articles accepted for publication can details for correspondence: postal epw.mumbai@gmail.com

    Economic and Political Weekly August 5, 2006

    Dear Reader,

    To continue reading, become a subscriber.

    Explore our attractive subscription offers.

    Click here

    Back to Top