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

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State-Sponsored Alcoholism in Kerala

The Kerala government's move towards total prohibition has raised serious concerns about its impact on the state exchequer. The strong grip of alcohol on the state's social and cultural bonds has been enabled by a combination of political and economic factors unique to this long-time communist bastion. This article seeks to examine the historical traditions of drinking in Kerala along with contemporary practices.

Older than the Church

Despite Christianity that made inroads into Kerala nearly two millennia ago, and communism that emerged as a powerful egalitarian force in the last century, caste continues to exercise an insidious, all-pervasive influence in Kerala. While the novel The God of Small Things attempts to subvert patriarchic norms that sustain caste and gender domination by its use of subversive comparisons and analogies, ancient hierarchies that sustain the caste and the gender question still remain assertive, unresolved even by the healing and redeeming powers of fiction.

Change and Transformation in Rural South India

A research project on village studies to analyse the facets of rural change and transformation in the southern states noted vastly different patterns of transformation in various states, and also that the pace and directions of change differed across villages, regions and states.

Informal Labour Market and Structural Devolution

This paper discusses the dynamics of the labour market in the context of the structural changes in the rubber small-holding sector. The authors (a) analyse the processes determining tapping and its size in the small-holdings; (b) examine the inter-regional differences in wages, tapping tasks, employment and earnings of tappers; and (c) highlight emerging issues and their implications for the labour market.

Kerala: Politics of Pressure Groups

Chief minister Antony's critical remarks about the pressure tactics of organised minorities in Kerala were provoked by the Muslim League's demands on the rehabilitation of the victims of communal violence in the fishing village of Marad and the stand of the Christian managements of two self-financing medical colleges in the matter of admissions and fees. While Karunakaran's predictable effort to use the episode to launch a revolt against the chief minister has been put down, thanks to the firm stand taken by the party high command, what Antony has to demonstrate in the three years he has left in power is his ability to successfully ride out the pressure politics of pressure groups without surrendering to them.

Stagnation and Revival of Kerala Economy

The existing literature treats the migration-remittances phenomenon as something which has tended to moderate the influence of the crisis in the Kerala economy since mid-1970s. In sharp contrast, the present paper is an attempt to bringing in the question of migration and remittances to its rightful place within the structure of the regional economy. The study attributes the stagnation in the commodity producing sectors since the mid-1970s to the 'resource movement effect' and 'spending effect' associated with the migration-remittances boom.

Muthanga: The Real Story

The tragic events at Muthanga in Kerala earlier this year were a culmination of adivasi frustrations over the failure of successive governments in the state to restore adivasi land despite several judicial directives and the existence of laws enacted for the purpose, such as the KSA Act of 1975. Instead attempts were made to amend the act which was later wholly repealed. The protest of the adivasis at Muthanga met with brutal repression by the government. But chastened by the public anger at the police action, the government now remains immobilised in the face of a series of fresh land occupations by adivasis in the Kerala part of the Western Ghats. If the government were to handover the land in Muthanga to the adivasis and make other lands available to landless adivasi families and bring all adivasi regions under Schedule V of Article 244 which provides for participatory self-rule and autonomy, it would herald a new era in adivasi history.

Kerala: Kidney Trade

The fact that the Kerala chapter of the Indian Medical Association chose to gloss over the many irregularities in the kidney trade controversy and held the medical community and the hospitals involved to be blameless, only throws into glaring focus the state's dereliction of its duty in implementing the relevant law meant to ensure ethical practice.

Five Years of Participatory Planning in Kerala

Kerala's uniquely successful experiment in participatory planning has seen the mobilisation of several thousands of people in the implementation of the Ninth Five-Year Plan. The process had its problems that arose essentially from the absence of a clear perspective about decentralisation. The impact of changing policies following a change of government also has its effect on decentralised planning. An objective assessment of the plan campaign is hampered if viewed through the prism of partisan politics. This paper is also an attempt to look at the plan process from the perspective of decentralisation, rather than from the perspective of planning.

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