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

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Nine Years of Turmoil in Taxation

In 2012, the finance ministry of the Government of India amended the Income Tax Act to tax capital gains from indirect corporate transactions. This law was applied retrospectively, permitting the finance ministry to tax companies for similar transactions in the previous half a century and creating consternation among foreign investors. The ministry decided to dispense with this in August 2021. Despite the altered legal position that this law will apply prospectively instead of retrospectively, the woes of the ministry are not over.

India’s ‘Three Pest Campaign’

Over the last few years, the central government has declared certain species of wild animals as “vermin” in some states, thus allowing uncontrolled hunting of these animals. This removal of protection raises serious concerns with respect to its legality, constitutionality, and ethics. An analysis of notifications declaring species as vermin shows that this was done in an arbitrary manner without any scientific assessments. There is thus a clear need to review the manner in which wild animals were declared as vermin.

Vernacular Nations

Postcolonial Asia offers at least seven types of states and nations. In their somewhat uncritical pursuit of total nationalism, territorial Asian states compete with their archipelagic cousins. The sea gypsy nations--spread across the South China Sea and other East Asian states--reject the monopoly of land as the only inhabitable space, discounting territory as an essential constituent of a nation. Ironically, while history kept them outside the fold of the territorial states, the present attempts to co-opt them. Only by challenging, as the Asian sea gypsies do, land's claim to being the sole inhabitable territory within law, and rethinking the sea as a place of danger can we truly vernacularise our statist imaginations.

Vicious Cycle of Stigma

“Is a Ragpicker’s Child Likely To Be a Ragpicker?” by Venkatesh Murthy R (EPW, 27 February 2016) reminds me of children of female sex workers in red-light areas. Ragpicking, sex work, and so forth (as parental occupations) are considered a stigma by mainstream ­society. In female sex worker...

Blurred Boundaries

This paper critically analyses the politics of claim-making, vis-à-vis, the Forest Rights Act by illustrating how three distinct political actors in Gudalur, Tamil Nadu, have used the FRA. In this analysis the law has not been taken as an immutable category, but rather as a political instrument that various groups use to assert their identities and political imaginaries. In doing so, these imaginaries invoke unique histories and reference multiple "genealogies of belonging." By highlighting the multiple uses and interpretations of the FRA in Gudalur, this study opens up space for a discussion around some larger concerns implicated within issues of forests, rights and conservation, particularly, the limits of seeing Adivasis as the only authentic traditional forest-dwellers by highlighting the blurred boundaries between various categories--Adivasi and non-Adivasi, forest and non-forest, legality and illegality. It is in these liminal spaces, where boundaries are blurred, this study offers an analysis informed by the analytic of governmentality to argue that local actors exercise agency in either taking on or resisting environmental subjectivities framed by the FRA.
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