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

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Identity, Contestation and Ethnic Revivalism among Nepalis in Darjeeling

Nepalis in India tend to be treated as outsiders and this has prompted the political mobilisation of Nepali identity and the ethno-linguistic movement for “Gorkhaland.” However, the struggle in the Darjeeling Hills is not for a single homogeneous identity, but a composite of diverse ethnic and caste entities. This article studies the fragmentation of ethnic identity within the movement, the resultant political changes, and the processes of negotiation in the quest for identity formation.

Resolving the Mahanadi Water Conflict

To chalk out the future course of action in view of the disputes regarding the use of Mahanadi river water, a well-rounded strategy that includes both the people and policymakers is needed. The strategy must allow for dialogue by rebuilding trust and should look at arbitration and negotiation as methods of conflict resolution. It is necessary to evolve a strategy that optimises the rational usage of Mahanadi water to benefit people from both Chhattisgarh and Odisha, coupled with the implementation of a multi-stakeholder forum that finds peaceful solutions and minimises areas of contention in a negotiable and consensual manner.

Recovering Memories of Partition

Are stories lost forever, and do personal histories count? In a world that has in recent decades seen immense change, with identities and even histories in flux, it also follows that “big events” shape “small lives.” But the manner in which every life comes about, how one’s history is shaped, has a bearing on the universal history that is then written about. Many a time, small histories are lost, and it is then that we must go in search for these other stories, using our own memory tools.

National Archives of India

The National Archives of India is the largest repository of historical documents in the country. In the 125th year of its establishment, this article traces the evolution of the archives, from an organisation that articulated the colonial administration’s power—subtly regulating and colonising not only the writing of history but also the minds of the colonised—to a postcolonial institution of preservation after independence.

A K Dasgupta on Gandhi and the Economics of Austerity

A K Dasgupta spent his lifetime teaching and researching on the classical, marginalist and Keynesian theories of value and distribution associated with the writings of Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Marshall and Keynes. In the last part of his life he was much attracted to the writings of M K Gandhi as well as the notion of austerity contained in the writings of David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill. The questions Gandhi had raised still continue to be astonishingly relevant. This article briefly explores this literature.

India’s Growth Rate

The discussions surrounding the Indian economy’s performance during the past three-and-a-half year rule of the National Democratic Alliance government have been entirely concerned with the ups and downs of particular year-on-year quarterly growth rates alone, and this amounts to missing the wood for the trees. This article attempts to contrast the notion of a growth rate that is normally employed in the growth theory with y-o-y quarterly rates for the Indian economy. It argues, in particular, that the policy failure (if any) associated with demonetisation cannot be judged with reference to growth rates.

Casting Caste: Dalit Identity, Papilio Buddha, and Malayalam Cinema

Caste in Kerala has been under-represented both in canonical Malayalam literature as well as in Malayalam cinema. This article reviews the representational absence of Dalits in Malayalam cinema, explores how this absence perpetuates the structural violence against Dalits, and analyses Jayan K Cherian’s Papilio Buddha. This is a rare fi lm that tackles the contentious question of caste, reveals the ineffectualness of Gandhism and left politics vis-à-vis Dalit issues, and points to Ambedkarism and Buddhism as ways to forge a coherent Dalit consciousness.

Harnessing Gram Sabhas to Challenge State Profligacy in Chhattisgarh

Despite the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, there has been limited devolution of powers and gram sabhas have remained largely powerless. However, the movement to save Hasdeo Arand forests used these legislative provisions as an advocacy tool to not only highlight the regional challenges but also strive for a greater role of gram sabhas in central- and state-level policy legislating processes. It showcases the potential, as well as limits, of harnessing local self-governance institutions to push the boundaries of the provisions of these acts.

Governing the Internet

Internet technologies have become a major part of our daily lives. Although the Internet began in the United States as part of a defence project, it has become much more now. There is no sole owner of the Internet and no single government or other entity has exclusive power over its functioning. The Internet was not originally designed with security in mind; however, it is now a concern that many countries have become vulnerable to cyberattacks. India must establish a concrete cybersecurity strategy that takes into account the views of central government departments, universities, industries, international allies and partners, and state and local governments.

Is the Gay Community the Neo-marginalised of Modern Society?

An examination of the sexual identity of gays through the prism of mainstream homophobic culture reveals that they are the nouveau-marginalised section of contemporary Indian society. Despite their diverse experiences the stigma is blatantly similar between homosexuals and other discriminated groups, both of whom are prejudged on the basis of their identities and are impeded from standardised interactions with mainstream society as they are made out to be “perverse” and impure.

Demonetisation: Wefts and Warps of the Common Man

The Government of India’s demonetisation policy led to intense debates and discussions. In these discussions, the “common man” emerged as the central character used by the ruling and opposition parties as well as the print media to defend or oppose the policy. This article deconstructs the characteristics of the common man as revealed in these assertions, and analyses the related narrative strategies employed to justify their respective position. Content analysis of a sample of 779 newspaper articles published by four leading English newspapers in India informs the analysis presented in this article.

Macroeconomic Policy for an India in Transition

Two types of macroeconomic policies, categorised as Type I and Type II, are developed. A comparison shows why Type II would lead to better growth and infl ation outcomes in the Indian context. Analytical frameworks, data, and fundamentals, all of which are found to support Type II policy, are discussed, showing that India’s recent macroeconomic policy has tended towards that of Type I. This implies that growth and employment creation fall below potential even as the potential itself falls. Ironically, the primary infl ation expectations anchoring the function of infl ation targeting are underutilised.

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