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

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Telangana: Nation, State and the City

The issue of a separate state for Telangana will continue to fester even as the central government led by the Congress continues to procrastinate on a decision on it. The Congress’ electoral calculations, which seem to govern its attitude toward the issue, cannot afford to continually ignore the popular aspirations of the people in the region, as further dithering only complicates the political situation in both Telangana and in coastal Andhra.

The Discontents After the Revolution

The split among the Maoists in Nepal is a result of ideological and organisational reasons. The splinter party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) still grapples with its ideological line – what form of "peoples' revolt" would it have to launch – and faces a difficult future. But substantial numbers of people in Nepal, often disgruntled with the dysfunctional nature of the mainstream polity, have historically responded to the call of radical communists, who are therefore here to stay.

Piracy and its Discontents

Aaron Swartz, computer programmer, writer, archivist and internet activist, committed suicide on January 11, 2013, weeks before he was to go on trial over hacking allegations relating to the downloading of millions of academic papers from the online archive JSTOR, for free online access and distribution. A small section of publishers, copyrighters, journal archivists heave a sigh of relief and perhaps, even feel vindicated at this ironic twist of fate where his suicide becomes a metaphor, or an exemplar, for the nemesis that awaits "stealing", copying and circulation of copyrighted ideas.

Skirmishing on the Line of Control

The ceasefire agreed upon by India and Pakistan at the Line of Control in November 2003 was the single biggest confidence building measure between these countries. It would be in the larger national interest of both countries to disengage from a face to face situation on the LoC by resolving issues such as Kashmir, Siachen and the Sir Creek.

Run with Gender, Hunt with Class

Indian democracy appears to be Janus-faced. It operates in very curious ways. It joins enlightened students and concerned citizenry at India Gate in their demands for justice for the Delhi rape victim. Elsewhere it nurtures criminal elements responsible for such horrific tragedies. At India Gate it may raise slogans of gender justice; in the slum clusters it will manage and subjugate the underprivileged masses by employing goons and bullies in the service of the class rule. Imperatives of the political game needed to safeguard the rule often return to haunt the aspirations of justice, equality and freedom expected to be fulfilled under a democratic polity and civilised society.

The Need for an Everyday Culture of Protest

Will some of the same people who have vented their anger in protest against this gang-rape at least raise voice in support of a sex worker’s livelihood, a heterosexual person’s right to live with a partner without marriage, a single parent, a lesbian or gay person’s right to chose a partner, walk with the women while they reclaim the streets at night not just on 31 st December but every night; and not pass moral judgments on these groups of people?

Of Sex Offender Databases and "Chemical Castration"

The groundswell of response to the tragic incident in Delhi may have precipitated a political moment, providing impetus for much needed reforms in legal, policing and other aspects of the criminal justice system. However, in seeking to quickly seize the political moment there is a distinct danger of acting in haste or ignoring the insights and experience developed over the years within the women’s movement and by civil liberties activism in India not to mention lessons from elsewhere.

A Note On The Macroeconomics Of The Twelfth Five Year Plan

The macroeconomics underlying the Twelfth Plan is flawed because the picture that the Planning Commission paints of a higher savings ratio being associated with a reduced current deficit ratio will hold only through a reduction in income. If exports are going to be restricted by world demand conditions, then the way to increase output is by lowering the import propensity, not by raising the saving propensity, as advocated in the Twelfth Plan.

Twelfth Five Year Plan

The Planning Commission of India posted the draft Document of the 12th Five year Plan on its website in the first week of December 2012 for feedback from the public before it is adopted by the National Development Council (NDC) on 28 December and declared the Five Year Plan for the country from 2012 to 2017. The stated vision of the Plan Document is “of India moving forward in a way that would ensure a broad-based improvement in living standards of all sections of the people through a growth process which is faster than in the past, more inclusive and also more environmentally sustainable”. This mantra of “faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth”’ is indeed ideal and laudable, but the question is how can we make it possible? More importantly, what could be the consequences if we fail?

What it Means to be a Brahmin Dalit

An impassioned plea by a Dalit woman professional for acknowledging the prejudices and obstacles even "privileged" people like her face when confronted with the structure of caste. This personal experience underlines the context for the Constitutional amendment bill on allow reservations for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in promotions.

A Year Later: Cairo, October 2012

A frequent traveller to Cairo recounts her experiences of a city which went through an iconic "revolution" and provides glimpses of a city and country coming to terms with a new politics of hope.

Sex and the Feminist

This article has been written as a response to a talk by Gloria Steinem in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, earlier this year. While the immense provocation of some of the political assumptions of the talk inform the tone of this piece, it also is an attempt to grapple with what is one of the least addressed areas of mainstream feminist theorising - the relationship between sex and work. This preliminary reflection is an attempt to rescue labour from modernist imperialist frames for instance, the rights discourse. It seeks to address frontally the ‘problem’ of sex most often theorised in the context of sexuality, family, or even ' love'. What happens then if we shift the ground and make sex the site for understanding labour? While the labouring body has been studied in many different contexts such as factories, fields etc., it is striking that there is a tremendous anxiety doing the same in the context of sex. It is this anxiety that this brief paper wishes to draw attention to, as indeed to the implications it has for messy terrain of what is seen as 'feminist' politics.

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