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

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How to Dismantle a Republic

The Idea of New India: Essays in Defence of Critical Thought by Pramod Kumar, Delhi: Aakar Books, 2021; pp 362, `1,495 (hardback).

India’s Turn to Save the World from the Next Crisis

A silent wave of financial stress is running through the world financial markets. India, the incoming G20 President, must provide the leadership necessary to save the world from an emerging market debt crisis. The proximate cause of the crisis is the combination of COVID-19 debt and a jump in the US dollar. Fighting the dollar’s appreciation with higher interest rates on debt will push the world into recession. Faced with a rich-country commercial bank debt crisis in 2008, the G7 announced that they would use all the available tools and take all necessary steps to save the banks. We need to do the same today for countries. India should press the IMF to immediately increase access to its unconditional rapid fi nancing facilities and temporarily suspend interest rate surcharges. Avinash

COVID-19 as an Opportunity to Engage with Urban Malnutrition Challenge: Preliminary Insights from India

As the world is urbanising fast, a growing body of literature highlights malnutrition as an imminent urban challenge, further compounded by the outbreak of COVID-19. The nutrition policy discourse, however, is yet to accommodate this shift. In fact, it continues to exhibit a rural bias. This itself has partly been reinforced by the absence of authoritative evidence on urban malnutrition. Based on preliminary analysis of Indian data, this paper examines whether there is urbanisation of child malnutrition. The paper finds that urban India is witnessing a decline in nutrition advantage. While for less urbanised states, urban child stunting is relatively higher, in more urbanised states, urban child wasting is a challenge. Given that wasting is an indicator of acute malnutrition, it is partly attributable to lack of adequate food. Though it might be early to connect this to a looming hunger crisis, growing child wasting questions the claims of food security in urban India. Seeing this further in context of implications of COVID-19 provides a potential basis for broadening of the nutrition policy agenda.

A Feminist Foreign Policy for India?

In terms of representation, India has made significant strides towards gender parity in its political, diplomatic, and military institutions but performs worse than other countries with similar developmental profiles. While India has several gender-sensitive foreign aid programmes, they need to be diversified.

Currying Coloniality

Mirch Masala’s invocation of M K Gandhi celebrates independence from an external colonial state while also manufacturing consent for the modernising initiatives undertaken by the postcolonial state.

Traversing the Field of Development Studies

Reclaiming Development Studies: Essays for Ashwani Saith edited by Murat Arsel,Anirban Dasgupta and Servaas Storm, London and New York: Anthem Press, 2021; pp 300, $40.

Maria Aurora Couto (1937–2022) and Her Fifty–Fifty Nationalism

Maria Aurora Couto, the Goan littérateur and cultural activist who passed away on 14 January 2022, brought out the facets of her cosmopolitan outlook and her abiding faith in the synthetic traditions of Goan/Indian culture. She remained steeped in the cultural demands of high nationalism embodying the values of her times. 

The Alienation and Commodification of Nature: Fighting the Fallacious Fetishism of Contemporary Frameworks through a Revolutionary Transition

With the frantically incessant economic production activity that apparently projects no end, the human-nature relationship seems to have come full circle. As man agonises being manacled by natural constraints, in the form of planetary ecological crises, he stands to be the alleged culprit. For analytical coherence, this paper is divided into four sections. The first section elucidates, through a Marxist perspective of ecology, how the unheeded capitalistic socio-economic course of human action has engendered the alienation of nature itself, which in turn is posing fatal afflictions, conspicuous through compelling phenomena like climate change. Following it is a discussion on the repercussions of commodification of nature. The third section brings out the dichotomous reasoning evident in redundant environmental policy frameworks and paradigms in India. Accentuating the dialectical relationship between sociology and ecology, it explicates, in advocacy for the contemporary “have-nots,” the need to constantly heed the multidimensionality of sustainability, also discernible in the Sustainable Development Goals. On these lines, finally, the course of a “revolutionary transition,” to reinstate a progressive human-nature nexus, is expounded. As a way forward, the paper suggests eschewing the repudiation and outright denial of the prevailing ‘problem of production’ and the need for a sagacious dialogue, in order to mount radical action in response to the looming environmental threats.

Bulldozing the Idea of Democracy

The state apparatus’ inaction in dealing with communal violence will have dire consequences.

 

Publishing Pulp and the Popular

Indian Genre Fiction: Pasts and Future Histories edited by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Aakriti Mandhwani, Anwesha Maity, New York and Oxon: Routledge, 2019;
pp xii + 211, 
`750.

Adventure Comics and Youth Culture in India by Raminder Kaur and Saif Eqbal, New York and Oxon: Routledge, 2019; pp xiv + 225, `995.

 

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