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

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Reimagining the Geographies of the Gorkhaland Movement

While the demand for self-rule is not unknown in the Darjeeling hills, the recent triggers for the movement demanding the creation of Gorkhaland can be traced from the time the Trinamool Congress won the civic body election in the hill areas and imposed the compulsory adoption of Bengali language in schools. This prompts one to look critically at the imagined geography of a place, as envisioned by the government, as well as by those protesting for the creation of a new state, to understand whether and how a regional movement threatens the concept of nationalism.

Allusive Politics

During the colonial period, at the turn of the century, when linguistic “nationalism” in Eastern India was on the rise, Odia writers in general, and Fakir Mohan Senapati in particular, were making subversive use of their limited knowledge of English. In Senapati’s “Rebati,” one finds layers of intertextuality generated by the obscure English epigraph.

Role of Trust and Power in Tax Compliance

The interplay of power and trust in tax compliance in India is analysed by using the slippery slope framework. Its hypotheses are tested using survey data and by employing the ordered logit estimation methodology to determine the role of trust and power in voluntary and enforced compliance. Trust plays a positive, significant role in voluntary compliance; it is highest in a high trust, high power scenario.

Delivering Nutrition to Pregnant Women

To reduce the burden of maternal undernutrition in India, select nutrition interventions are delivered to pregnant women at scale through the National Health Mission. But in Purnea, a district in Bihar, delivery is constrained by poor planning and budgeting, delayed fund flow, and shortage of infrastructure and human resources; and funds are underutilised.

Finance and Growth under Neo-liberalism

The monetary policy of a neo-liberal state can only ease the availability of finance for the capitalists by deliberately inducing economic agents to underestimate risk. A continuous easing of the capitalists’ budget constraint in this manner makes the financial system fragile, such that economic booms are merely bubbles, while financial crashes, when they occur, are more devastating than ever.

The Neglect of Ambedkar

Indian sociologists and historians have retained a certain foundational bias and blindness regarding caste. M N Srinivas’s theory of “Sanskritisation” saw underprivileged castes as aspirational, seeking social mobility. Socio-economic changes were seen as destabilising caste relations and leading to their disappearance. The persistence of upper-caste hegemony, and the resistance to it from underprivileged sections, does not corroborate the thesis forwarded by Srinivas and other sociologists and historians. The neglect of B R Ambedkar has been part of a strange refusal to acknowledge the political in caste.

Rule of the Uncanny

The novel as a form is argued to be the literary counterpart of an individuating world. In the postcolony, however, the novel as a form will have to find new ways to account for the rupture from history effected by the duplication of the same names across two registers, one in popular memory, and the other in governmental registers. Select works of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer are analysed to decipher how this crisis in historicity was negotiated in terms of the literary.

Government as an ‘Efficient and Responsible’ Litigant

In the light of the growing recognition that government litigation constitutes a big burden on both the judiciary and the government, a Draft National Litigation Policy was formulated in 2010 with the objective to transform the government into an efficient and responsible litigant. Following this, the Government of Madhya Pradesh brought out a State Litigation Policy. In this context, the challenges for the government in realising this goal and the factors responsible for increasing litigation and untenable “causes of action” are examined, with broader relevance for the rest of the country.

Constitutional Rights, Judicial Review and Parliamentary Democracy

While the contribution of the Supreme Court towards asserting the inviolability of constitutional rights is undeniable, the rightful limits of judicial intervention in the executive and legislative domains need to be questioned. In this context, the debate on related jurisprudential issues in the framework of a functioning parliamentary democracy is taken forward, and the principles defining the philosophy of judicial review have been discussed towards a holistic appreciation of the larger politico-constitutional issues.

Dharma and Adharma

The point of departure of this article is B R Ambedkar’s observation, when presenting the draft Constitution, that India was entering a “life of contradictions.” One such contradiction, between the noble pronouncements of the Supreme Court, especially in the last four years, and the lived reality of vulnerable groups, as illustrated by the four cases discussed, is considered. The coexistence of these two worlds of light and darkness is questioned.

The 10% Quota

The 10% quota for the economically weaker sections completely overturns the original logic of reservations on its head, while misconstruing the EWS category itself. Data suggests that caste remains a critical marker of disadvantage, even amongst the “poor.”

Impasses around Contemporary Hinduism

Hinduism’s structural tension between monotheism and polytheism is examined. The interweaving of polytheism and monotheism could be seen to constitute the more and less oppressive phases of Hinduism’s history. Three contemporary impasses have been examined: B R Ambedkar’s proposals to modernise Hinduism in Annihilation of Caste , Hindutva’s attempts to develop an authoritarian version of Hinduism, and Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd’s Post-Hindu India . A democratic politics needs to work with the contradictory practices that constitute Hinduism.

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