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

Web ExclusivesSubscribe to Web Exclusives

A Letter to India: In Manto's Spirit

On the lines of Sadat Hasan Manto's facetious letters to Uncle Sam written at the height of the cold war when Pakistan was being wooed by the US as an ally to fight communism, this letter was written in 2002 to the then Prime Minister Vajpayee by historian Ayesha Jalal. Written as a spirited assessment of the standoff between India and Pakistan, the letter is peppered with rare insights that have always been Manto's hallmark.

Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016: Some Observations

The Expert Committee on Land Leading chaired by T Haque has among other things, prepared a Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act. An analysis of the model act reveals that the act favours the lessee over the landowner, and risks of aiding in the diversion of land hitherto used for field crops to being used for allied agricultural activities, which may not be the best use of land in the long run.

Internet Governance: Is the Internet Really Free of US Control?

The recent decision of the United States government to cede its control over the internet’s naming and addressing system to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a US-based international non-profit body, is heralded as a significant step towards the globalisation of internet’s core infrastructure. But with ICANN having no special jurisdictional immunity and subject to the whims of the judicial and legislative branches of the US government as well as many of its executive agencies, the decision seems more symbolic than meaningful.

Lines on the Map

It is tempting to think that a surgical strike was the only option left to tackle an intractable country. The sense of foreboding can only deepen with the directionless approach of the Indian government in resolving the Kashmir dispute and the terror question. India’s decision to inflict such an action against Pakistan indicates that the spirit of SAARC to work out things in a mutually agreeable manner had already taken a backseat.

A 2002 article about cancelling the Indus Waters Treaty reads like it was written today

In 2002, after disputes regarding the Tulbul Navigation Project and familiar media hype about whether the Indus water treaty should be cancelled, the late Ramaswamy R Iyer decided that it might “be useful to put the [his] position down in writing”. Even in 2002, Iyer writes in the past tense, assuming that the idea of cancelling the treaty for punishing Pakistan is past the scope of real discussion and would not benefit India on moral, legal or more importantly, practical grounds. Since, similar arguments that Iyer dismissed 14 years ago have been now invoked to call for immediate action and revenge against Pakistan, it is useful to look at Iyer’s argumentation about what a treaty means, whether it is right to abrogate a water treaty as a measure of punishment, and his assertion that even if we cancel the treaty in the zeal of pronouncing a punishment to Pakistan, the hardship inflicted on Pakistan will be limited and temporary, while the retention of the waters will create trouble for India.

Reliance Jio: Predatory Pricing or Predatory Behaviour?

Reliance Jio is disrupting the working of India’s telecommunications industry by taking on incumbents like Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone which together control almost three-fourths of the market for mobile voice and data services. Although some of its services are “free,” RJio's pricing may not be considered predatory even if its behaviour certainly is.

RBI Pays a Stiff Price: Hot Money Worth $34 Billion Will Be Flowing Out of India

A huge amount of dollars will be flowing out of the country in the coming weeks as non-resident Indians redeem the deposits they made three years ago under an ill-conceived special scheme to shore up the external value of the rupee. The new governor of the Reserve Bank of India should resist pressures to devalue the Indian currency.

Overlooking the UIDAI Process

A response to the rebuttal by Hans Mathews and Pranesh Prakash to UIDAI's "Erring on Aadhaar" (EPW, 12 March 2016)

Glaring Errors in UIDAI's Rebuttal

The article questions Unique Identification Authority of India’s response, which found “serious mathematical errors” in “Flaws in the UIDAI Process” (EPW,12 March 2016).

Request for Specifics: Rebuttal to UIDAI

Responding to the Unique Identification Authority of India’s article that found “serious mathematical errors” in “Flaws in the UIDAI Process” (EPW 12 March 2016), the main mathematical argument used to arrive at the number of duplicates in the biometric database is explained.

When Gods’ Abode Dissented: Mantam Landslide in North Sikkim

When the people’s representatives failed to understand the implications of large projects in the highly seismic and fragile young Himalayan mountain ranges, and failed to act, people took the task upon themselves. The street became the metaphor and several anti-dam movements ensued. However, the resistance is waning in the political discourse of Sikkim.

Three Generations of Kashmir’s Azaadi: A Short History of Discontent

When did the question of Kashmir’s right to self-determination get euphemised into Kashmiris’ “grievances” against the Indian state, centred merely on ending human rights violations and better economic support? When did the people of Kashmir, who have been mobilising themselves long before India or Pakistan were created, get scripted as economically deprived, ignorant, alienated and unable to make rational decisions about their future? The article charts the politics of plebiscite by the Indian state, National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party alike, and shows how political solution has been obfuscated.


Back to Top