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

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Risking Feminism?

This paper is a classroom ethnography that engages with urban, middle-class narratives on feminism by young women. For them, their feminism is often precarious because it places possible heterosexual romance at risk by marking them as apparently anti-men. Further, it tends to place them in antagonistic relationships with their families, compelling them to engage in various strategies of negotiation, subversion and rebellion. This paper examines their understanding of both possible heterosexual relationships and the complex negotiations with families. Reflecting on these narratives, it argues that young women feminists today are taking risks, asking difficult questions, critically evaluating their own location and subject positions in their engagement with a feminist politics and practice.

Navigating a Field of Opposition

This paper attempts to think through an impasse in the field of feminist scholarship and activism in India, one that has been perceived and analysed by many feminist scholars in the last few years. This seeming impasse pertains to the "caste and gender" relationship, which has produced a field of opposition on questions related to sexual labour and sexualised representation. The focus of the study is on the figure of the bar dancer and the devadasi, and the continuing debates on their practice or the systems they are located in, to argue that this false field of opposition is created by a growing separation between legal and social reform and the consequent erasure of social histories of caste in moments that are overdetermined by the law. This paper, therefore, advocates a return to thinking through questions of consent, agency and freedom through the realm of social practice and history.

On Fire in Weibo

The year 2012 witnessed a new wave of feminism in mainland China with feminist performance art in the street and feminist online activism. Through examining three significant online activities in China since 2012, this paper explores how feminists have made the social media, especially Weibo, their new stage for feminist activities that are different from the traditional ones and that are able to provoke heated discussions among both the public and the mainstream media. Through Weibo and the other social media, grass-roots feminists have opened up a new bottom-up mode of activism different from the dominant top-down paradigm prevalent since the 1980s.

In the Eye of International Feminism

This paper proposes that sex work and feminism have been knotted and kept apart in much of Anglophone feminism in part due to historical and historiographic reasons. This conundrum casts a long shadow on former cold war territories like Taiwan, and has a bearing on the shape taken by feminist politics therein, notably in the "sex wars" of the 1990s.

From the Streets to the Web

Does social media enable forming networks of solidarity between different marginalised groups? Is there a space for non-normative discourses such as the discourse on pleasure? Does digital technology aid in the construction of feminist counter-publics? These are some of the questions explored in this paper. Power relations that operate through social media, including forms of gendered and sexualised violence, are also discussed.

Groundwater Irrigation-Electricity-Crop Diversification Nexus in Punjab

The present wheat-rice cropping pattern, groundwater irrigation, procurement policy, and electricity policy have bound farmers in Punjab into a convenient yet vicious relationship that is economically and ecologically unsustainable. The state government provides free electricity for agriculture and a high minimum support price and yet recommends a shift away from rice to curb groundwater depletion. This paper analyses the trends and turning points in irrigation development in the state, its shifts in cropping pattern, and trends in electricity consumption. It further examines the real-world feasibility of the long-pending recommendation to shift the cropping pattern from water-intensive rice and wheat to less water-intensive maize and wheat.

Agricultural Productivity Growth

This study examines the question of convergence in land and labour productivity in Indian agriculture between 1991 and 2011. The tendency of low-productivity states to catch up with high-productivity states is studied through the unconditional β-convergence approach, and the operation of Galton's fallacy through growthterminal productivity-level regressions. The diminution of variance in productivity levels is tested using the σ-convergence approach and the robustness of the results is tested using alternative test statistics. The results reveal that states are converging in terms of land productivity, but not in terms of labour productivity.

Food Subsidy

This paper counters negative advocacy about the food subsidy, the public distribution system, and farm price supports. It argues that the public food supply chain for market intervention has a favourable impact on the cost-benefit ratio, poverty reduction, calorie consumption by the poor and productivity-led agricultural growth. The paper proposes reforms for the six pillars of the public food supply chain. These include: an alternative poverty line concept that is linked to the minimum "norms" for calorie intake enabling a reduction of the exclusion and inclusion errors, procurement just for the PDS and buffer stocks to be purchased at a farm price that is fully cost-based, fair price shops with fixed and adequate time of operations, "indent" of the demand, doorstep delivery, and so on.

Economic Benefits of Futures

This article examines the economic benefits of futures. Theoretically, futures are expected to aid price discovery and risk mitigation. But empirical analysis shows that speculators drive the markets and, by virtue of their domination, abduct the price discovery process in certain commodities. The deceptive price discovery leads to suboptimal forecast of future prices. So futures markets fail to offer an effective hedge against price risk. In addition, the current public-private partnership regulation is a deterrent to the sustainable growth of futures markets.

Projected Effect of Droughts on Supply, Demand, and Prices of Crops in India

This paper assesses the effect of monsoon droughts on the production, demand, and prices of seven major agricultural commodities - rice, sorghum, pearl millet, maize, pigeon pea, groundnut and cotton. A partial generalised equilibrium model is developed to simulate the effects of deficit rainfall on acreage, yield, production, demand, and prices of different agricultural commodities in India. It is used to project the effect of rain deficits on supply, demand, and prices of monsoon session crops.

Selective Inclusions and Exclusions

Ratnagiri, a small town on the western coast of Maharashtra, is an important urban settlement in the Konkan region. This article examines the town's uneven spatial and economic development by focusing on the fishing and tourism sectors, highlighting the historically generated and socially produced contradictions and contestations within and between them. It argues that the very instruments of spatial planning meant to address uneven development end up reinforcing and exacerbating existing spatio-social and political inequalities. It goes on to trace the processes by which spatial planning becomes an arena where regulations are bent and flouted by directly influencing local and state-level actors through a negotiated approach to planning.

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