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

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A Comment on the Analysis in Sachar Report

The Sachar Committee Report presents a detailed, though not very new, analysis of the socio-economic status of Muslims in the country. Two factors, however, remain crucial in explaining how well Muslims fare: access to education, and the particular state in which Muslims live, neither of which is satisfactorily addressed in the report.

Indian Muslims: The Varied Dimensions of Marginality

The Sachar Committee Report brings together a wealth of data of immense value with respect to the development and marginalisation of different socio-religious groups, the Muslims in particular, in the country. This article examines the social, political and economic profile of Indian Muslims emerging from the SCR; its regional, gendered and other variations; and the implications thereof.

The Condition of Muslims

The Sachar Committee, from its perspective of equity, has brought out the poor economic condition of the Muslims. Addressing this is important, but without ensuring social security and citizenship, our concern for equity is more rhetorical than sincere.

Conditioned Lives?

Given the disparities in Indian society which affect Indian Muslims - some built-in due to various reasons and some created by the stepmotherly treatment meted out by the state - the government should show the will to implement the various recommendations of the Sachar Committee.

Social, Economic and Educational Conditions of Indian Muslims

The report of the high-level committee on the social, economic and educational status of Muslims in India, also known as the Sachar Committee, is the first attempt to provide information on conditions in the community using large-scale empirical data. It provides the basis for an informed debate, from an equity perspective, on the conditions of the Muslims. An overview of the report.

Dynamics of Local Governance in Karnataka

Informal local governance institutions such as caste panchayats, street panchayats and customary village councils are often neglected in discussions about local government and are assumed to have lost their relevance after the introduction of panchayati raj institutions. The author takes a close look at these institutions in Karnataka and finds that, in particular, CVCs have not been marginalised by the formal elected bodies. On the contrary, they continue to play an active role. There are also strong interactions between the two sets of institutions, and CVCs have an influence on village politics and grama panchayats with positive as well as negative elements.

Federalism, Urban Decentralisation and Citizen Participation

While panchayati raj institutions for the rural areas, created after great and prolonged struggle, have given rural dwellers their self-governance structures and a fair degree of empowerment, nothing similar has been done for urban dwellers. Participatory involvement of citizens in and accountability of local self-governance structures are almost totally absent in urban areas. The author discusses the work of a non-governmental organisation in which he is actively involved in attempting to create informal structures that seek to redress this shortcoming and offers a charter for more formally recognised structures that could be organised on a wider scale to give the urban dweller a voice.

Governance and the 'Karnataka Model of Development'

This paper considers the idea of a 'Karnataka model of development', with its emphasis on technology and governance-led development. It is the introduction to the papers in this issue of EPW on 'Governance and Development in Karnataka'. Based on the papers in the symposium, and on the wider literature, it explores the interpretation and application of the idea. It argues that while some of Karnataka's experience does indeed conform to the model and thus holds out lessons for development, there are significant gaps between reality and the model, and these gaps have lessons for development as well.

Systematic Hierarchies and Systemic Failures

This paper examines the realationship between gender and inequities in Koppal district of north-eastern Karnataka. The paper, based on the work of the Gender and Health Equity project in two taluks of the district, among the more backward in the state, finds a gender bias both in health-seeking behaviour in families, especially among the poorer households, and in the healthcare delivery system. Girls' and women's health suffers disproportionately as a result of this bias.

To Be or Not to Be

This paper discusses some of the problems women face in gendering public policy. The paper elaborates on how women's collective identity can be forceful politically when backed by knowledge and gives examples of this from Karnataka. New developments in decentralisation of governance have opened possibilities for women's agency at the local level. Paradoxically, developments at the global level have the possibility of undermining this process. The author argues that we can only therefore confront this not by integrating into the existing development paradigm and attempting small changes at the local level but by evolving a different development paradigm that will ensure justice for the majority of the poor and women.

Change in Karnataka over the Last Generation

This paper looks at the social and political changes in, and relevant to, rural Karnataka over the last few decades. It finds that the changes have been incremental but have added up to something of significance. Karnataka politics has been characterised by rainbow coalitions of social groups, irrespective of which party is in power, and this has given its institutions some continuity, social life some cohesiveness, and governance comparative freedom from excesses and corruption. But there are signs that social relations are coming under strain.

Political Economy of Panchayats in South India

Based on a study of some 500 villages in the four southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, this paper examines how the functioning of the panchayat system mandated by the 73rd amendment to the Constitution has had an impact on the economic status of villages and the households within them. The study finds that gram panchayats, created by this massive experiment in democratic decentralisation, have had an effect on the delivery of public services, for example, in the targeting of beneficiaries of welfare programmes, but also that positive outcomes are linked to the political elites thrown up by the system.


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