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

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The Pre-decided Maruti Suzuki Case

The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights report on the Maruti Suzuki case judgment says that it is illustrative of the anti-worker bias entrenched in the law and order machinery. The prosecution’s brief in the case involving the violence at the Manesar plant in July 2012 was riddled with discrepancies, but 31 workers were convicted—13 of them sentenced to life imprisonment—based on the testimonies of the management personnel, says the report.

The End of Democracy or a New Resurgence in Pakistan?

Pakistan’s general elections are scheduled to be held in July 2018. Contrary to the popular argument that the Pakistani military has revived complete dominance and hegemony over civilian and electoral politics, fewer people are now buying into the opinion in Pakistan that the military is somehow “better” than democracy. Unlike 1958, 1977, or 1999, when an outright military coup was welcomed and embraced, the options for the military are fewer and limited in 2018.

Maharashtra’s War on Plastic

A brief investigation into the effects of the plastic ban in Maharashtra reveals that such regulations are riddled with arbitrariness and the absence of any accurate assessment of the scale of the problem of plastic waste. Further, such bans have the unintended consequence of creating a downturn in the plastic recycling sector, a sector which—in the absence of municipal support—handles much of the plastic waste of urban centres like Mumbai.

Publicly Financed Health Insurance Schemes

The announcement of the National Health Protection Scheme provides us with an opportunity to see how its predecessor Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and other publicly funded health insurance schemes have fared so far. The experiences of PFHIS indicate that targeted health insurance coupled with a healthcare delivery system dominated by “for profit” private providers failed to address the issues of access and financial risk protection. They possibly displace resources that can be utilised for strengthening a public health system.

Universal Electricity Access

The National Democratic Alliance government has targeted to electrify all villages by the end of 2018. But simply establishing electric connections does not translate into adequate, affordable and good quality supply. This article examines the possibility of setting up rural electric cooperatives and assesses the successful examples in some other countries.

An Expanded Perspective of Doing Philosophy

Satya Pal Gautam was a scholar in philosophy but his wide-ranging interests in literature, poetry and music made him a wonderful conversationalist and teacher. He played a key role in building up teachers’ organisations in the Panjab University.

Writing History with Light

A tribute to the Iranian photographer Abbas Attar who used his camera to show events and people embedded with multiple meanings. Apart from other historic events, he chronicled the Iranian Revolution in all its complex colours.

Changing Contours of the Political Regions of Karnataka

Media reports of the recent Karnataka assembly elections tended to see the state as made up of distinct regions and marked their boundaries to accord with the political–administrative territories prior to their unification in 1956. While a residual presence of regional identity still persists overdetermining class, caste and community relations, linguistic and speech practices, religious and cultural sensibilities, politically, the region has come to mean very different things in the electoral battlegrounds of the state. In recent years, equations across castes and communities have been recast precipitating intense social churning and political realignments within and across regions of yore.

Ashok Mitra (1928–2018)

Ashok Mitra remained arekrakam (of another kind), insisting that the left could only survive and thrive if it does not abandon its ideology and principled politics. This Arekrakam legacy he leaves behind—als0 in the form of the journal he established by the same name—will remain a powerful inspiration for all efforts to resuscitate and rejuvenate the left movement in Bengal and elsewhere.

Criminality and Passport Issuance

In recent times, the passport has become an identity proof for most Indian citizens apart from being a travel document. In this regard, the insistence on “clean/no criminal record” as a qualifying criterion to obtain a passport must be questioned. Further, the lack of uniformity in the requirement of a clean record for renewal or disqualification of passports and the lack of cogency in the police verification exercise need to be reviewed and remedied.

Revisiting the Nationality Question in Assam

A series of articles published in the Economic & Political Weekly during the 1980s’ Assam Movement—when the nationality debate was at its zenith—offer a context against which the issue can be revisited.

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