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

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The March of Virtue: Phase 4 in the Anna Hazare Crusade

Two constructions of virtue are in contention as Anna Hazare prepares for the fourth phase of his agitation. For team Anna, virtue is a closely held monopoly, embodied in its leader’s self-denial and moral resoluteness, consistently denied in the electoral fray and endangered by the ruthless competition between parties to extend their patronage networks. For team Manmohan Singh, virtue is just as rare an attribute, typically found in close proximity with extreme wealth, and worthy of special commendation since it could easily slip into its opposite. Corporate India though, still has unmet expectations and Manmohan Singh is their best assurance of securing these. Media loyalties in team Anna's fourth phase of campaign are therefore, likely to lie with the prime minister who sees wealth as the marker of virtue.

The Discovery of the Higgs Particle

Tribute must be paid to the dedication of the staff of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the thousands of participating scientists from all over the world in their breathtaking effort, collaborating in the discovery of the Higgs particle. In the coming months and years, the properties of the putative Higgs boson will be studied in great detail and the validity of the Standard Model will be studied. The times are truly exciting.

Unstable Rupee, Floundering Economy

Adverse sentiments by themselves are not the real source of the current problems being faced by the Indian economy, of which the weakening of the rupee is only one manifestation.

Laxmipeta: Deadly Combination of Caste and Political Power

The killing of five Dalits in Laxmipeta village of north coastal Andhra Pradesh again illustrates that the dominant communities are ever willing to use the most extreme forms of violence, even killing of innocents, to preserve their monopoly over land, privilege and status. The political powerlessness of Dalits, despite token representation in the administration and government, has also been exposed by the vulnerability of the Dalits of Laxmipeta. An account based on visits after the massacre.

Malegaon: Who's Above the Law?

A comment on the recent revelations by serving army official Prasad Purohit who has been arrested for his involvement in the Malegaon blasts of 2008.

"The politically incorrect need not be educationally inappropriate"

The dissent note by a member of a government appointed committee reviewing textbooks of political science avers that the pedagogic intent and methods of the NCERT textbooks are sound and they encourage critical dialogue among learners.

Symbolic Injury as a Site of Protest

As the protests over the cartoon controversy suggests, symbolic injuries have increasingly become the site for articulation of subaltern political claims because they carry less political risk and offer the prospect of a quick but less than meaningful “justice.” At the same time they give the political establishment a relatively easy way to mollify and subvert those very claims.

A Hard Rain Falling

Violence is the very grammar of exploitation and oppression related to class, caste, sex and race. It has always borne the tendency to break free of institutional constraints and become a force in itself. That is why bands of warriors are the most stable feature of class society. Capitalism thrives on violence. Tragically however, the major communist currents in India today, instead of providing a wholesome alternative to violent reality, have become an indistinguishable feature of it.

Remembering Elinor Ostrom

Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom's passing away is a major loss to academia and for all those committed to the idea of the "commons".

Setback in Nepal

The split among the Maoists at a time when there is yet another deadlock in the Constitution writing process in Nepal is a major setback for both the democratic process as well as the left movement in that country.

Loving and Living in 21st Century India

Honour killings are rampant in many parts of India, particularly in its north and northwest states. An account of a young couple who managed to escape and marry but are still being hunted and thus, hiding.

Rio+20 Summit: The Key Issues

A big breakthrough to tackle the world’s environmental and economic crises is now beyond the reach of the Rio+20 Summit. But it can still be a success if it reaffirms old commitments and launches new processes to strengthen institutions and to initiate new goals and action plans.


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