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

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Politics of the Informal

This article contests the view that women’s public space results from their ability to step in as peacemakers, or as part of civil society groups, during conflicts between state and non-state actors, or from the ability to hold leadership positions in electoral politics or in civil society groups. Instead, women’s public space emerges from church welfare services, reformation of inheritance laws and traditional village authorities, and women’s ability to identify problems in state, civil society, and insurgent politics while maintaining a critical distance. The informal associational lives of women are equally public and political. The informal does not merely legitimise the political role of women; it is political because it is an active, creative, and strategic public space

Learning to Live in the Colonies and Camps

Involuntary migration of Tamil repatriates and refugees from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu began in the late 1960s and continued for several decades. The relief and rehabilitation offered to them by the Government of India was far from adequate, and life in the camps and colonies was hard and often unbearable. The unsuitable living conditions forced the migrants to learn how to deal with adversity and to assert agency in the midst of despair and hopelessness. Although life in the camps and colonies was difficult, migrants managed to carve out a space for themselves.

Implementation of Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act

Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act mandates non-minority private unaided schools to keep aside at least 25% of their entry-level seats for children belonging to disadvantaged sections to create a more integrated and inclusive schooling system. But its implementation experience has been far from satisfactory. More than half of the states and union territories have not implemented this provision (as of March 2016). Further, experiences of the states that implement this provision display considerable gaps. The Implementation of Section 12(1)(c) has also faced a plethora of litigations. The issues are discussed in-depth and recommendations for improving implementation have been provided.

Colonial Construction of a Frontier

​ An examination of the emergence, shifts and perceptions surrounding the Inner Line Regulation in the North East Frontier reveals that the Inner Line seems to be more of a civilisational frontier than a territorial one. Regulation of the Inner Line has played an important role in postcolonial political construction of the highland–lowland duality and in the creation of a contested social space in the Sibsagar–Naga Hills.

‘Illegal’ Bangladeshis in Akhand Bharat

Both the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party respond aggressively to the issue of “illegal” Muslim Bangladeshis, the largest “illegal” migrant group in India. Such a response is rooted in the racial underpinnings of Hindutva ideology, which right-wing political formations have attempted to bring into mainstream discourse, especially after the BJP came to power at the centre in 2014.

Why Is Unemployment Higher among the Educated?

The unemployment rate among the educated is not only higher compared to the uneducated, it also increases with higher levels of education. This article explores whether the factors responsible for unemployment among the educated differ from the uneducated based on a multinomial probit model. Results indicate that youth, both educated and uneducated, are more likely to be unemployed than older age groups. One of the reasons for higher unemployment among the educated is that the educated are not willing to join in low-grade informal jobs, but at the same time, sufficient regular salaried jobs are also not available for them. Both educated and uneducated individuals with vocational training (formal or informal) are more likely to find jobs. Besides promoting skills through technical and vocational education, creation of jobs through enhancing capital formation is important to reduce both educated and uneducated unemployment.

Caste and Power in Villages of Colonial Bengal

An exposition of four court cases demonstrates that by the late 1920s, the educated middle classes wielded the colonial state apparatus. Moreover, the colonial state had partially delinked the premodern affiliation of local muscle to the local hubs of power. Therefore, at the village level, local malcontents were isolated and booked for lawbreaking. Villagers/village communities were located within a caste-based social structure, though caste hierarchies in Tamluk seemed more fluid. They also had the option to activate the (ideally) caste-neutral state apparatus, which sharpened their perceptions of legal subjectivity, and increased their stake in the government.

Indo–Russian Energy Cooperation

This article analyses India’s quest for energy diversification and its consequent presence in the Russian hydrocarbon market. It examines New Delhi’s balancing approach in the context of the Ukrainian crisis, the ramifications of sanctions for Russia, the United States’ shale resources as a factor in Indo–Russian hydrocarbon trade, and the India–China factor in the Russian energy market. India’s energy requirements and greater geopolitical clout have resulted in it importing more hydrocarbon resources from Russia. However, ongoing tensions between Russia and the West, fluctuating crude oil prices, and the falling value of the rouble will test Indo–Russian cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.

Power and Politics of Portraits, Icons and Hagiographic Images of Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, an arresting and appealing figure, whose appearance adds to his politics and ideology, was iconised long before his martyrdom. This article on the official and popular iconography of Gandhi explores which visualisations of Gandhi have lived on, why they came to be imagined and constructed, and their roots in traditional and modern Indic iconology. Select works of modern and contemporary artists such as Nand Lal Bose, Ram Sutar, M F Husain and Atul Dodiya are examined to reveal the evolution of Gandhian iconography through its dialogue with concepts of power, nationalism, dharma, sainthood and renunciation.

The Aftermath of Farmer Suicides in Survivor Families of Maharashtra

How do survivors cope in the aftermath of a farmer suicide in their family? Detailed interviews with around 30 families in various villages of Nanded district, Maharashtra reveal that surviving family members battle with themselves and society to overcome impediments of all sorts for their basic existence. What emerges is a pressing need for a policy framework that focuses on these individuals by supporting them through alternative livelihood, education, and nutrition programmes. Pravin

Need to Rationalise Rising Interest Burden on Central Government Public Debt

Interest payments are a significant component of expenditure of the central government. A substantial amount, nearly one-fifth to one-third of tax collection of the Government of India, is accounted for by interest payments. In 2014–15, interest payments were 3.3% of the gross domestic product. In 2015–16, net interest payments (difference between the interest payments and interest receipts) pre-empted over 34% of the revenue receipts. High interest payments can shelf other developmental activities due to non-availability of funds. It is, therefore, imperative to examine measures to reduce interest payments. This paper explores two approaches to reduce interest expenditure incurred by the central government inflation indexed bonds and restructuring of existing debt.

Ambedkar’s Lessons, Ambedkar’s Challenges

R Ambedkar’s methodological and substantive insights on the nature of Hinduism, caste and Indian history anticipated much contemporary scholarship on the subject. Even so, from his writings there is much to learn about the energetic rigour required in the attunement of political will and scholastic analysis. His powerful and persuasive argument has been at variance not only with those of figures such as Lokmanya Tilak and S Radhakrishnan but also with what has become the larger common sense on these issues, a common sense that informs political as much as jurisprudential discourse. This paper raises questions on the relationship between conceptualisations of the constituent bases of the nation and history in India as much as the means for and the stakes involved in negotiating collective pasts and collective futures.

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