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

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Fandry and Sairat

Sairat (The Wild, 2016 ), and Fandry (Pig, 2014), by Nagraj Manjule have been widely celebrated for portraying narratives of caste marginalisation in rural Maharashtra. This paper argues that marginal narratives and subjectivities in Fandry and Sairat posit moments of resistance, that bring into question mainstream cinema, its tropes of romance, and the region in transition. Apart from presenting a reading of the subjective experience of being socially marginal, the paper deliberates on how the films emblematise a certain social entanglement, and are instrumental in affirming their own objectified versions.

Between ‘Baksheesh’ and ‘Bonus’

How is class experienced by domestic workers when they come together for collective action? Using ethnographic data, this paper argues that the collective action efforts by some unions of domestic workers in Bengaluru to demand “bonus” reveals the struggles over class that they engage in, struggles that make them conscious of their in-between class status as self-employed workers in a precarious informal economy. The collective action of demanding bonus in Bengaluru entails a cultural–political struggle away from a gift economy relationship and towards a more commodified economy under conditions of precarity in the informal economy.

Value Added Tax Scams and Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax

In the postcolonial era, tax reforms in many developing/emerging economies resorted to indirect taxes under the presumptions of broadening the tax base and achieving horizontal equity. But, leakage in the form of evasion had challenged the attainment of these objectives, and continues doing so even after half a century of constant churning by tax architects to arrive at an optimum solution. The ease of evasion is indicative of the gap in the “lab to land” transfer of technique. From a theoretical standpoint, the goods and services tax, based on the principles of value added tax, can potentially address much of the malaise afflicting VAT in a federal polity, and may also offer the desired bridge for an informal economy to move towards the realm of formalisation in the long run.

Anthropology of Tourism

Tourism is an important industry and provides a livelihood to many communities living in Kashmir, especially those in the areas surrounding the Dal Lake. However, tourism has seldom received attention outside the domain of business and management studies. The houseboat community, agriculturists, business persons and artisans form the core of the tourism industry thriving in the Dal Lake region. A critical understanding of the political economy of the industry is necessary to comprehend some of the challenges confronting the various groups that are the stakeholders of the tourism sector in this region.

Demographic Patterns of Voter Turnout

Municipal corporation elections in Maharashtra have been characterised by low voter turnouts. Local body administrations are interested in creating voter awareness programmes targeting the “rare” or “intermittent” voters. The article seeks to identify the social characteristics of such voters.

Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

There is a growing realisation among the scientific community that the current production-based greenhouse gas accounting framework does not capture the true essence of responsibilities towards global emissions. While production emissions of developed countries have decreased, consumption has gone up. We argue that this is due to the shifting of energy-intensive industries to developing countries. The increasing gap between consumption and production emissions not only distorts responsibility, but also affects developing countries’ ability to fulfil their nationally determined contributions. We discuss the implications and possibilities of a consumption-based methodology for GHG estimating and argue that such accounting is necessary to increase the system’s transparency.

The October Revolution and the Anti-colonial Movements in South Asia

The histories of the revolutionary anti-colonial movements in South Asia and their engagement with the October Revolution are reflected upon, in this article. Accompanying these reflections is a sensitivity to contemporary problems of Islamophobia, the manipulation of popular protests by imperial powers and the internal ethnic and cultural divisions that invariably prise open the doors for imperialist interventions. The relationship between South Asian anti-colonial movements and the October Revolution was reciprocal.

Utilisation of Health Facilities for Childbirth and Out-of-pocket Expenditure

Using data from the household surveys on health conducted by the National Sample Survey Office between 2004 and 2014, the utilisation patterns of health facilities for childbirth and the associated out-of-pocket expenditure are analysed. The findings reveal that the utilisation of public facilities for childbirth increased three times in rural areas and almost one and a half times in urban areas between 2004 and 2014, but that most deliveries took place in district hospitals. Also, the average medical expenditure on childbirth in government health facilities declined by 36% in rural areas and by 5% in urban areas. Considerable interstate variations in regard to oop expenditure on drugs, diagnostics and transportation were also witnessed. Though government policies to promote institutional births have improved the utilisation of public facilities and reduced the overall oop expenditure, more needs to be done for the benefits to reach the vulnerable sections, especially in urban areas.

Mapping Violence in the Lives of Adivasi Women

The Adivasi women of Jharkhand negotiate with power structures within the family system and society, and are further entrapped in gender hegemonies that are part of larger shifts in the political economy. Their lived experiences in the urban and rural landscape of Ranchi, a Schedule V district under the Constitution, and an analysis of the enforcement of legal machinery in removing or tightening the existing disparities provide crucial insights into the sociolegal realities of the lives of Adivasi women, thereby mapping their everyday experiences of violence and the means available to address their issues.

Profit Inflation, Keynes and the Holocaust in Bengal, 1943–44

The year 2018 marks the 75th anniversary of the Bengal famine, 1943–44. This paper argues that the famine arose from an engineered “profit inflation,” described by John Maynard Keynes in general terms as a necessary measure for “forced transferences of purchasing power” from the mass of working people, entailing reduction of their consumption in order to finance abnormal wartime expenditure. Keynes had a long connection with Indian financial affairs and, in 1940, became an advisor with special authority on Indian financial and monetary policy to the British Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister. Facing trade union opposition in Britain to the highly regressive policy of profit inflation, he gave it up in favour of taxation. But, in India, extreme and deliberate profit inflation was implemented to finance war spending by the Allied forces, leading to the death by starvation of three million persons in Bengal.

Enhancing Affordable Pharmaceutical Healthcare

The Indian intellectual property regime has often met with severe criticism from the United States as India strives to balance the need to provide affordable healthcare with a thriving market for a competitive pharmaceutical industry. In this context, the nexus between compulsory licensing, competition law and patent law merits a closer examination and it is debatable whether a strong competition law framework is indeed the way forward.

The Hope and the Dilemma of the Urban Poor

A common view about economically weaker sections and lower-income groups in India is that they live in slums because they cannot afford to buy or rent decent accommodation in the formal market. However, some can pay a monthly rent and/or for the services such as garbage disposal and water, but they, and others who can afford to buy, are deterred by institutional constraints. Many slum households face a dilemma: opting for better and more secure living conditions would mean losing some of the advantages of living in a slum and the possibility of a free home.

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