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

Articles By Kerala

M Kunhaman (1949–2023)

M Kunhaman consciously rooted himself in the tradition of the scientific method initiated by Jotirao Phule and B R Ambedkar from a caste/subaltern point of view. The continuing influence of his work on tribal communities in Kerala and intra-regional economic analysis is such that it can be considered as a marker that divides the historiography and research on the Adivasis of Kerala into two—works which came before it and works hich came after.

Tackling the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Public Action in Kerala’s Exemplarity

Kerala’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be a public action making it an exemplar to not only the rest of the states in India but also the world as a whole. Its public action-oriented containment of the pandemic has been the outcome of multiple factors specific to the state. Despite the grave challenges confronted by the state, its experience offers new opportunities for setting a new public culture. However, the emerging opportunities and their realisation in the post-COVID-19 phase depend on an effective and visionary leadership that can translate them for the potential development of the state.

No Endosulfan-related Health Challenges in Kasaragod?

Responding to K M Sreekumar and K D Prathapan’s paper “An Evidence-based Inquiry into the Endosul­fan Tragedy in Kasaragod, Kerala” (EPW, 9 October 2021, pp 45–53), some of the data from the original paper is reanalysed to arrive at different conclusions.

From Resources to Functionings

The role of social and cultural capital in reproducing caste hierarchies and shaping the capabilities and functioning of different caste groups in percussion arts in Kerala is examined. The macro-sociological framework of Pierre Bourdieu and the individual-centric capabilities approach of Amartya Sen is integrated, for this inquiry. Emphasising the artists’ lived experiences of caste discrimination in the field of performing arts, the interviews elaborate upon the role of caste status in maintaining power and domination of the “upper”-caste artists. This adversely affects the opportunities for performance, recognition in the field, upward economic mobility and even the expression of dissent for the artists from the historically marginalised castes.

Making Sense of the Property Tax Increase in Kerala

Recently, the Kerala government revised property tax rates, which has attracted criticism from various corners. This article aims to comprehensively examine the fiscal compulsion and inevitable nature of property tax reforms in the state. It argues that the property tax rate in the state is the lowest and an increase in rates is necessary to meet the growing demands for public services and infrastructure, and to ensure a sustainable fiscal future for urban local governments in Kerala.

Livelihood Vulnerability, Policy Response and Coping Strategies during COVID-19

This article examines the livelihood vulnerability experienced by the informal workers in Kerala in terms of employment and income shortfalls during the first three months of the COVID-19 crisis. A discussion on the policy response of the state is also attempted to understand its role in reducing the levels of livelihood vulnerability. Kerala’s policy intervention is a road map for other states to contain the pandemic and its consequences.

The Existence of a North–South Divide in Kerala

It has been acknowledged that the disparities in the development indicators between north and south Kerala have been reduced significantly post independence. This reduction is typically attributed to developments in the social sector. However, there is considerable difference existing between Malabar and Travancore–Cochin in terms of living standards and key infrastructural facilities. The multidimensional poverty index has also revealed that the incidence of poverty is high in northern Kerala compared to southern Kerala. People-centric policies coupled with decentralisation have effectively reduced the outcome disparity, while the Malabar region still lags behind the Travancore–Cochin region in some key aspects.

‘New Developmentalism’ and Left Mobilisation in Kerala

The “new developmentalism” of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala is an attempt to construct an alternative development model to the neo-liberal development. It is seen as a transition from the 1990s’ left confrontation with neo-liberal reforms, and as a convincible alternative in the globally acclaimed Kerala model of development. Even though the party reiterates its commitment to its basic class in pushing for new developmentalism, the real challenge is the quantum and levels of engagement with the Kerala model and neo-liberal development. Arriving at social and political consensus and bringing a social balance on the concerns of the marginalised and the aspirations of the emerging new middle class depend on the policies and strategies of the CPI(M).