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

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Violence and Trust in Police in India

The police are a state institution that citizens are familiar with, but the perception of this institution among the people depends on the amount of trust vested in the police. Empirical application of ordered probit models on the India Human Development Survey-II data set suggests that the recent experience of violence faced by a household affects its trust in the police significantly. The trust varies widely across regions and communities in India, both for households that did or did not experience recent violence. Training the police forces them to approach cases with empathy and a shift to community-based policing may help to bridge the trust deficit.

Sanitation and Hygiene in India

Using data from the India Human Development Survey, this examination of toilet possession and personal hygiene in India shows that the strongest influences on households in India having a toilet were their circumstances: standard of living, educational level, and whether they possessed ancillary amenities. However, toilet possession depended also on households’ social environment; households in more developed villages were more likely to have a toilet than those in less developed villages. Open defecation is due to a lack of development and not because caste, ritual pollution, and untouchability instil in rural Indians a preference for defecating in the open.

Deepening Divides

Changes in the incidence of vegetarianism across time are sought to be analysed by identifying the specific trends at the level of region,caste and class. Divergence in the attitude towards vegetarianism across these axes points towards deepening divides linked to socioeconomic status and cultural-political power inequalities.

Has Disability Risen among the Elderly in India?

An analysis of disability among the elderly and its covariates during the period 2005–12 is provided using data from the two rounds of the nationally representative India Human Development Survey, conducted in 2005 and 2012. The increase in life expectancy has not translated into a healthier life, as prevalence of disabilities, their severity, and their association with non-communicable diseases have risen. Given the lack of access to assistive devices, specialised medical services, rehabilitation, and stigma attached to disability, the temptation to offer simplistic but largely medical solutions must be resisted. Instead, a multidimensional strategy is needed that helps the elderly overcome physical and socio-economic barriers as well as address the issues related to prevention and treatment of their underlying health conditions.

'Provincialising' Vegetarianism

Large-scale survey data are used to question the most public claims about food habits in India. It is found that the extent of overall vegetarianism is much less—and the extent of overall beef-eating much more—than suggested by common claims and stereotypes. The generalised characterisations of “India” are deepened by showing the immense variation of food habits across scale, space, group, class, and gender. Additionally, it is argued that the existence of considerable intra-group variation in almost every social group (caste, religious) makes essentialised group identities based on food practices deeply problematic. Finally, in a social climate where claims about food practices rationalise violence, cultural–political pressures shape reported and actual food habits. Indian food habits do not fit into neatly identifiable boxes.
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