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

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Panchayati Raj : Unnecessary Confusion

Out of plan funds devolved to panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) in Kerala some amounts have been found to have been deposited with certain government institutions for works which the PRIs want them to take up in their areas. These institutions are government bodies such as the electricity board or the water authority. The PRIs in Kerala were doing this under direction from the state government. Now the making of these deposits has been objected to as a financial irregularity by the audit department.

Kerala - Aquarian Reforms: Will 'Actual' Fishermen Benefit?

The Kerala government's move to grant exclusive fishing rights in the common property fisheries will be economically unsound even if politically expedient. It is also likely to result in the elimination of many marginal and subsistence fishermen, who will be forced to sell their fishing rights to big business.

Matriliny and Women's Status

Matriliny Transformed: Family, Law and Ideology in Twentieth Century Travancore by K Saradamoni; Sage Publications India, New Delhi and AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, 1999; pp 177, map, index; Rs 32.5

Sexual Violence and Predicament of Feminist Politics in Kerala

In the run up to the assembly elections in Kerala, the Left government made pointed effort to focus on the women's issues especially in terms of their gains through such new initiatives as its decentralised development programme. On the other hand, it dithered in taking action on issues that were agitating women across the state as for instance on the several incidents of sexual violence all of which involved directly or indirectly the use of political clout against women. This essay is a beginning towards understanding the 'possibilities' of autonomous feminist politics in the state and emerging Left perspectives on women's issues, specifically in the context of the issue of the agitation around the cases of sexual harassment.

Government Health Services in Kerala

One of the reasons cited to justify government intervention in health care is to correct the inequities in service provision that might arise if services are provided by private sector. But in practice government decisions are taken by a few individuals and groups and these decisions might reflect their interests than that of the community. The paper examines the role government provision of health services has historically played in Kerala

Kerala - Grasim: Polluter Does Not Pay

The Grasim Industries unit, long tagged the "most pollutant industry in Kerala", has shut shop without paying compensation for the damage it inflicted on the environment. There is also resentment among the workers on the severance package offered, and the lack of social amenities at their workplace.

The Left after the Elections

Now that the dust of the elections has settled, several questions need to be addressed by the Left, if it is to seriously think of chalking out its future. After its debacle in Kerala, will the Left now remain content with its electoral power confined to Tripura and West Bengal? In the rest of India, will it reconcile itself to the role of a minor ally of various regional and centrist parties? Shall we see more of spectacles like the CPI and the CPI(M) tying themselves to the apron strings of the likes of Laloo Yadav and Jayalalitha? Will they be seen on the same platform as the Shiv Sena and the RSS-led Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh in anti-WTO agitations, as witnessed recently in Maharashtra?

Biological Parks, Forest Fires

If the government is really concerned about protecting the remaining forests of Kerala, it should modify and improve the style of functioning of its forest staff.

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