Society

Society

Issue Articles

Sexual Violence Against Dalits at the Current Conjuncture

'Both Dalit suffering and Dalit resistance unsettle us because both point to what we do not wish to acknowledge: that there are no bodies that do not suffer when hurt, and there are no bodies that will not resist when they suffer, angrily or creatively.'

Growing Distress and a Falling Unemployment Rate

What is going on in the labour market?
The Periodic Labour Force Survey for 2019-20 has thrown up some unusual and contradictory patterns in employment and unemployment. However, the trends in the labour market over three years of the PLFS from 2017-18 onwards are clear and cause for worry.

The Cycles of History

The US departure from Kabul has drawn inevitable comparisons with the exit from Saigon in 1975, but ‘history’s eternal shadow, namely, the future, will always throw up surprises no matter how carefully we curate the past to tell us what we want to believe’.

'Will Come if it is in Our Podu'

Importance of cultural safety for Adivasis in Covid-19 care
Why do health workers often take the punitive route to obtain compliance from marginalised communities? How can we build cultural sensitivity into our public health practice? A story of the Solega group of Adivasis and how they related to Covid care.

Making Sense of India’s Measures of Unemployment

The co-existence of seasonal and regular employment has posed a challenge over the decades for accurately measuring unemployment in India. An explainer and a discussion in the light of the puzzling results of the 2019-20 Periodic Labour Force Survey.

Front-loading Criminal Justice

Bail hearings and the presumption of innocence
‘To try and satiate society’s lust for punishing and othering a criminal, bail hearings emerge as an alternate site of justice with courts engaging in pseudo-condemnation to justify imposition of lengthy jail terms before a conviction.’

The Making of India’s Linguistic Landscape

India's linguistic landscape is much too vast and diverse to neatly contain within one clean narrative. Various forces — not just linguistic — have shaped individual languages, leading up to the modern forms we use today.

The Deadly Fever

A people’s history of the influenza epidemic in India
"The history of influenza serves as a reminder of how Indians & individuals across the Global South have long experienced the ravages of epidemics, and how marginalised peoples across the globe made meaning from the devastation as they struggled for survival."

Seven Medallists at Tokyo, Seven Hundred Crowd the Podium

The Indian athletes at Tokyo gave it all they could but a familiar ugliness has surfaced after the event. Officials, politicians, and sponsors are jumping on to the bandwagon of the medallists, while some who failed face the wrath of officials.

CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Surveys: An Assessment

In the absence of timely data from the national official surveys, the large-scale private CPHS have become popular sources of data on current conditions. But problems in the survey design & methodology of the CPHS need to be fixed for more reliable estimates.

India: From the World’s Largest Democracy to an Ethnocracy

The principle that Hindus can rule and marginalise others has firmly established itself beyond the BJP and the RSS. This emerging ethnocracy in India draws on electoral victories and legislative majorities, making formal suspension of democracy unnecessary.

Artificial Intelligence and its Discontents-I

Artificial Intelligence has exploded onto the world in recent years. Part-I of this review essay examines the nature and implications of contemporary AI. Next week, Part-II will address the multiple crises engendered by AI's rapid and widespread deployment.

Artificial Intelligence and its Discontents-II

'Apart from enhancing the powers of surveillance & control by the state, AI is being deployed by powerful corporations in an era of unprecedented influence of capital & stratospheric levels of economic inequality.' The concluding part of a review essay on AI.

Evolution of Demographic Thought and Concern for Human Well-being

Demography has been detached from political theory and political economy, and population is now considered a part of the problem. A new chapter emphasising the economic value of a population is emerging, but the approach needs to be people-centric.

The Global Minimum Corporate Tax: Not High Enough, Not Fair Enough

‘While the global minimum tax proposal is a step forward, that step is disappointingly short of what is needed and possible.’

How and Why India’s Climate will Change in the Coming Decades

The decades ahead will see more extreme rainfall, more higher temperatures, increased warming over the Indian Ocean, rising sea levels, and greater frequency and intensity of cyclones in the Arabian Sea.

Planning Bangalore

The colonial legacy of discriminatory housing
'Improvement' measures in Bangalore pushed the poor, the subordinated castes, and the working classes to the edges of planned development. The city's layout continues to reflect these inequalities.

Why the Pegasus Snooping is a Hacking of India’s Democracy

The widespread use of the Pegasus spyware in India suggests a disrespect for the institutions of democracy at the highest levels of government. What could be worse for the future of India’s democracy?

India's Linguistic Diversity

How the Census obscures It
The Indian census' classificatory practices obscures the full extent of language diversity in the country. Including what the census calls "mother tongues" presents a fuller picture.

What the Courts Missed

Ensuring justice for Stan Swamy
In Stan Swamy's case, the courts failed to appreciate that what was at stake was also the right to dignity in death. Reparation for Swamy's death must include an apology for the wrongness of his detention and assurances such instances are never repeated.

The Pegasus Case Must be Used to Press for Change in Surveillance Laws

To ensure comprehensive privacy for all Indians, we need to generate public pressure to make the Government of India reform the existing framework for surveillance and introduce a data protection bill in Parliament that is much tighter than the current draft.

Systemic Gaps in India’s Social Protection Delivery Architecture

The pandemic could have been an opportunity for India's welfare measures to shine. But poorly designed interfaces, centralisation, and lack of accountability have made access difficult, necessitating civil society organisations to step in.

WhatsApp in India

A Tale of Big Tech, Privacy Violation and Government Control
The ongoing tussle between the Indian government and social media companies has compromised the data integrity & privacy of citizens. We need an ecosystem of innovation and regulation to keep in check the unrestricted data powers of Silicon Valley giants.
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