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

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Women’s empowerment in the informal economy is mainly understood through a solution-based approach: improving access to finance or giving informal women workers avenues to express and acquire their political voice. Yet, little consideration is given to the root cause of their precarity, which, in the end, disempowers the very tools that can secure women’s rights in the informal economy.

Modernity and Democracy in India

Unresolved agrarian question, slow pace of industrial development and distorted economic growth of the service sector, have all led to the nature of economic development that is not symmetrical or equally poised with political democracy and rights. As long as capitalism in India remains backward to a large extent, in agriculture and industry, and as long as the distorted development continues, we will be stuck with the impasse of backward-looking nationalism and authoritarian populism. Current impasse is a product of achieving political modernity and a superstructure without its accompanying economic basis.

Vidyapati’s Mithila

A Political History of Literature: Vidyapati and the Fifteenth Century by Pankaj Jha, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018; pp 304, Rs 1,095.

Politics of Caste-based Schemes

Governmentalising schemes in favour of a privileged caste defeats the principle of justice.

Politicising Roads in Manipur

Roads across Manipur are ephemeral, foregrounding the politics behind their development as well as their spatial and temporal nature. Drawing from fieldwork conducted in Manipur, this article analyses contemporaneous state practices of infrastructure and its sociopolitical processes, and offers evidence to understand their materialities, forms, and societal relations. The nexus between politicians, contractors, bureaucrats, insurgents and elites causes frequent suspension of road projects, setting a new form of contingent development practice in Manipur.

Demystifying Caste in Bengal

Although caste is a crucial reality in West Bengal, a declining Dalit movement post partition, the neglect of caste questions by the Left Front, and the failure of forging a broader Dalit solidarity due to fragmented Dalit constituencies have led to the invisibility of caste in the politics of the state.

After Breakdown

This paper builds on the work of Steven Jackson to theorise the breakdowns of hydraulic infrastructure not as exception, but as an ordinary condition of living with infrastructure. Rather than take breakdown to be an interruption in the life of infrastructures, it is suggested that breakdowns be read as an initial condition from which new infrastructures emerge through the labour of maintenance and repair. Drawing attention to the extraordinary labour of plumbers, municipal employees and engineers, the paper argues that the invisibilities of infrastructure are themselves contingent on the invisibilisation and subjugation of maintenance workers, who are placed beyond sight to regularly and constantly work to make water flow again.

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