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

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Amalgamation of Existing Laws or Labour Reform?

The Draft Labour Code on Social Security, 2018 of the National Democratic Alliance government was expected to reform existing labour laws and improve the state of the economy and labour. However, a close reading of the proposed code suggests that it is an amalgamation of existing laws, and the government has neither removed redundant provisions nor overhauled the existing provisions to make employment benefits available to employees in a quicker, simpler, and effective manner. The alteration of taxonomy and unification of older laws in the new code is likely to weaken the legal doctrine by destroying the comprehensibility of the law, and will lead to poor implementation.

Wave Theory

Studies on migration patterns amongst tribes in India have received less attention in the academic domain. As such colonial writings still remain the basis of explaining the migration of tribes in North East India, with the veracity of their arguments remaining unascertained. The Kukis’s unique pattern of migration is described and the formulation of a “wave model” to describe all migration taking place in a similar pattern is attempted.

Ageing Large Dams and Future Water Crisis

Ageing large dams are the blind spots of India’s water policies. More than 4,000 large dams reach the minimum age of 50 by 2050, preparing the ground for a future water crisis. The consequences and probable remedies of such a crisis are analysed.

Caste and Electoral Outcomes

Understanding the relation of caste and electoral outcomes merely in terms of arithmetic runs is fundamentally fallacious. It fails to factor in the element of mutual repulsion among castes and the multiplicity of hierarchies. Shift from caste as a system to caste as an identity makes caste-arithmetic explanations of election results all the more questionable.

In Pursuit of the Golden Deer

The trope of the golden deer is used as an entry point into exploring the ways in which alternative understandings of gender, varna–jati, the relationship between the forest and the settled world, and kingship were visualised in ancient India.

Ambedkar’s Non-violence

It is very tempting to reduce Buddhism to a religion that propagates non-violence. And, it needs to be made clear at the outset that it is not the moralistic non-violent tenets underpinning Buddhism that attracted B R Ambedkar to it. Rather, the arguments put forth by Ambedkar for his conversion to Buddhism are much more nuanced. If we contemplate on these nuances and provide room for a creative reading of his need to embrace Buddhism, it opens up some interesting questions for our study of political theory, particularly concerning our understanding of violence and non-violence in politics.

Reimagining the Geographies of the Gorkhaland Movement

While the demand for self-rule is not unknown in the Darjeeling hills, the recent triggers for the movement demanding the creation of Gorkhaland can be traced from the time the Trinamool Congress won the civic body election in the hill areas and imposed the compulsory adoption of Bengali language in schools. This prompts one to look critically at the imagined geography of a place, as envisioned by the government, as well as by those protesting for the creation of a new state, to understand whether and how a regional movement threatens the concept of nationalism.

Allusive Politics

During the colonial period, at the turn of the century, when linguistic “nationalism” in Eastern India was on the rise, Odia writers in general, and Fakir Mohan Senapati in particular, were making subversive use of their limited knowledge of English. In Senapati’s “Rebati,” one finds layers of intertextuality generated by the obscure English epigraph.

Role of Trust and Power in Tax Compliance

The interplay of power and trust in tax compliance in India is analysed by using the slippery slope framework. Its hypotheses are tested using survey data and by employing the ordered logit estimation methodology to determine the role of trust and power in voluntary and enforced compliance. Trust plays a positive, significant role in voluntary compliance; it is highest in a high trust, high power scenario.

Delivering Nutrition to Pregnant Women

To reduce the burden of maternal undernutrition in India, select nutrition interventions are delivered to pregnant women at scale through the National Health Mission. But in Purnea, a district in Bihar, delivery is constrained by poor planning and budgeting, delayed fund flow, and shortage of infrastructure and human resources; and funds are underutilised.

Finance and Growth under Neo-liberalism

The monetary policy of a neo-liberal state can only ease the availability of finance for the capitalists by deliberately inducing economic agents to underestimate risk. A continuous easing of the capitalists’ budget constraint in this manner makes the financial system fragile, such that economic booms are merely bubbles, while financial crashes, when they occur, are more devastating than ever.

The Neglect of Ambedkar

Indian sociologists and historians have retained a certain foundational bias and blindness regarding caste. M N Srinivas’s theory of “Sanskritisation” saw underprivileged castes as aspirational, seeking social mobility. Socio-economic changes were seen as destabilising caste relations and leading to their disappearance. The persistence of upper-caste hegemony, and the resistance to it from underprivileged sections, does not corroborate the thesis forwarded by Srinivas and other sociologists and historians. The neglect of B R Ambedkar has been part of a strange refusal to acknowledge the political in caste.

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