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Abstract Though much has been written about Ambedkar over the past few decades, Dr Shashi Tharoor’s new book “Ambedkar: A life” promises to provide a thought-provoking take on the relevance of Ambedkar’s ideas in today’s context while critiquing him where necessary. While the book manages to provide a good introduction to the unaccustomed reader, its critique remains non-exhaustive if appropriate at times.
Tawaifs usually have a negative connotation associated with them. They are seen as shameless, vile, and corrupt women who pollute society. But this wasn’t the case in the Mughal era. People appreciated their talents in music and dance and yearned to see their performances. They were respected and held in high esteem. They were differentiated from prostitutes and were seen completely from an artistic lens. But all of this changed with the arrival of Britishers and Christian missionaries who systematically broke the institution down. To protect Victorian morals, they started to blur the differences between tawaifs and prostitutes. As a result, tawaifs lost their identity and livelihoods forever.
In an era where the discourse around a global rightward tilt of democracies is done to death, the Left has made some admirable comebacks from South America to Western Europe. Yet the South Asian left has been conspicuously absent when it comes to any sign of a revival on a political front. The absence is felt more deeply in times of economic distress, social rupture and climate catastrophe. Why is leftist politics, with a rich legacy stretching back to colonial times, devoid of a substantive presence in this region? It is a long story and an interesting one at that. To our benefit, it plays out in five acts. Whether it ends in tears of joy or sorrow is yet to be seen.
Abstract The conflict in Tigray constitutes the single largest humanitarian crisis currently raging. The outcome of the conflict will determine the future of Ethiopia, and the Horn of Africa at large, since Ethiopia is the largest country in the region. A unilateral government triumph will decimate the civilian population of Tigray, while a successful Tigrayan secession will throw the geopolitical status quo into chaos. This article analyses the origins of the conflict, the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis, and the involvement of foreign powers in the war.
Ever since the Global Financial crisis (2008), China has made repeated forays into utilising economic means to define maritime security. Initially, this came around through stray efforts at naval modernisation to defend and enhance Chinese connectivity abroad until President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road initiative. Since then the subsequent benefits and pitfalls of this initiative have prompted western policymakers to assess China’s global ambitions through the dual lens of investment and infrastructure. In this sense, the BRI has been sure to set alarm bells in the west over a possible Chinese economic hegemony in the developed world prompting them to rush forth with initiatives of their own such as Build Back Better. Accordingly, this paper seeks to analyse how throughout the years, China has used economic forays to define maritime security for itself up until the creation of the Maritime Silk Road – a strategic sea route of economically significant ports.
The article discusses the legality of Virtual Digital Assets in India especially with the existence of various Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin etc. Further, the implication of tax liabilities as proposed through the recent Budget, 2022 is also understood by way of determining whether the Government deems Cryptocurrency as a valid VDA. The changes in the Indian economy and Crypto market is also explored post the applicability of the tax penalties on income earned through trade of Virtual Digital Assets along with discerning the pre-existing taxation laws on Cryptocurrencies across the globe. The article concludes by questioning the newly designed framework and the imposition of the same on the current Virtual Assets market.
This article explores the gendered divide in labour force participation, with a special focus on the restaurant industry and female chefs. The paradoxical exclusion of women from a sphere that capitalizes on skills that they are expected to dutifully perform in a domestic setting is analysed through real-world examples, media portrayal, and research conducted by experts in the field. A high-pressure work environment and the burdens of unpaid domestic labour together create a vicious cycle that inhibits their professional growth in the industry, with sexist stereotypes forming an added hurdle.
The COVID-19 pandemic has opened the gateway to an alternate form of justice delivery through virtual courts. This paper explores the feasibility of virtual courts in India, and briefly describes the past and present of virtual courts in India. It deliberates on both the merits and demerits of virtual courts in India and explores some suggestions to make virtual courts more secure and accessible to the community.
In a country where over one third of the Indian menstruating population lives in period poverty, it is astounding to see that even with progressing times, menstrual rights have not been established to protect them and their rights. Menstrual rights as a legal concept is not acknowledged in the country and it has had a devastating impact over the menstruating population.
In a move that was earlier blocked, the Biden Administration approved a $450 million upgrade to Pakistan’s existing fleet of F-16 fighter aircraft. In the aftermath of Trump’s decision to stop selling new F-16s to Pakistan, the deal has raised questions about the possibility of a renewal of the US-Pak relationship and what it means for India. This article explores the history of F-16 in the Pakistani Air Force and discusses how the deal is a result of geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific region.
During the pandemic, western economies dealt mostly by handing out monetary assistance to support citizens. The view of experts was that India should take notes from the US and hand out money as a form of relief. However, the Indian government did not cave into these pressures. Instead, it chose to prioritize relief for those who needed it the most by providing in-kind relief packages to ensure food security. It also provided support through subsidised or interest-free loans to overcome the temporary liquidity issues of state governments and for capital formation. This article aims to compare the western model of fiscal support, specifically taking the case study of the U.S, with India’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Supreme Court bench of Justices of L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai, and AS Bopanna held that sex workers have the protection of fundamental rights under the Indian Constitution and this protection extends to the children of sex workers. The judgement was hailed as a remarkable victory by the liberal gurus in the media, however, it is necessary to examine the status of sex work in the contemporary legal landscape.
The institution of family has, since time immemorial, resisted any transformation of its core assertion of marital sanctity. Despite the prevalence of non-normative families, Indian law has defined familial relations exhaustively, alienating a large group of people who do not conform to this definition. Four years after the Navtej Singh Johar judgement India still lacks laws that protect the rights of queer relationships. It is high time that the legal arena recognises that parenthood, marriage and relationships are not gendered. This paper highlights the lacunae that exist between the social reality of familial structures and its understanding of the law.
Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Man of the Crowd”, keeps the reader hooked on the mystery and the imagery created with the detailed storytelling. However, it makes one wonder how a woman narrating this story would’ve changed the story, through her dynamic with the public realm. Through this paper, I aim to look at this short story, through a feminist lens and attempt to answer what it means to be a woman of the crowd.
India is witnessing phenomenal economic growth while its political aspirations are on a greater level. The administration is attempting to extend its global influence by utilising soft power resources and instruments. Using its rich culture and returning to its traditions, India is rediscovering this art. References to religious pluralism and democratisation are an additional effective governmental weapon. This article seeks to comprehend the magnitude of India’s cultural involvement and assess its efforts to present its culture to the world as fascinating.
Thailand has been able to find its source of soft power through the production of shows that are all about “boys love”. In a country where queer communities are still discriminated against, these series have been able to garner massive popularity worldwide. This article aims to break down this explosion of the genre that is created solely around a certain performance of sexuality.
Should India build another aircraft carrier? Analysing the question through various perspectives, this article looks at the historic and geopolitical implications of owning an aircraft carrier.
This article aims to explain the links between micro and macroeconomics in the context of our present corona pandemic to prove the assertion – the recovery of the global economy is dependent on the revival of specific local systems chosen based on their relational status in the global economy. The proof is constructed by reflecting on the primary reading “micro-macro link in heterodox economics by Claudius Grabner and Jakob Kapelle” and exploring or analysing its workings in our present pandemic context through evidence and examples.
India’s potential, however high it may be, has for multiple reasons, not been realised. The delay in liberalisation, introducing reforms, and having a conscious growth focused public policy has caused the economy to be unable to reap the benefits of its young demographics, blessed geography, and socio-economic dynamics. Multiple schemes aim at changing that, with the flagship being the ‘Gati-Shakti’ master plan, focused on infrastructure development.
This is the second part in a two-part series about the need for a new narration for crises. The previous piece used the medium of fictional foretelling in order to reliably convey the probable devastation caused by the climate crisis, job insecurity and food scarcity in South Asia. This one shall focus on the remaining powder-keg: A lethal imbalance of Demography and Online Polarization. South Asian states and societies are at great peril if the risky aspects of these two realities are allowed to fester.
The dual mandate of the Federal Reserve is to pursue the economic goals of maximum employment and price stability. When the pandemic hit, the Fed were worried about growth and employment. As the economy was recovering from 2 waves of Covid, inflation had already started its upward trend. However, the Fed assumed it was transitory and maintained a loose monetary policy to focus on growth and employment. The article aims to explore the implications of the Fed’s assumption on the U.S. economy.
Much of mainstream research on the recent clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers at Galwan has exerted an undue focus on assessing the incident as a bigger version of previous clashes, without paying attention to what actually marks it as a landmark event in defining how both nations approach bilateral ties. This is a dilemma my paper seeks to answer by highlighting the way in which these clashes completely changed the nature of India-China relations. Drawing upon excerpts from the works of China experts like Ambassador Vijay Gokhale, Tanvi Madan and Ambassador Shivshankar Menon, my paper begins by exploring the evolution of India-China relations ever since ties were normalized during the Detente period, marking the United States and Soviet Union’s external roles before displaying how the Galwan clashes disrupted this chain. Defining the history of bilateral relations and placing the present dilemma in it really boosts the potential of this research in placing the current upturn of bilateral ties in the broader conundrums of Asian Geopolitics.
Reserve Bank of India has recently provided guidelines to regulate Digital Lending infrastructure in India, more specifically the BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) industry. The regulator through the Master Direction has banned Non-banking Institutions from loading Prepaid Payment Instruments (hereinafter referred to as ‘PPI’ ) with credit lines. This article aims to understand the growth, the need and the concept of the BNPL Model, and discusses the rationale behind the regulation and its consequences.
This article looks at the recent Supreme Court judgment in the case of Deepika Singh v Central Administrative Tribunal & Ors. The ruling broadened the definition of family to include atypical families and guaranteed them the same rights as conventional heteronormative ones.
This article demystifies the myriad interpretations and manifestations of the term “Quiet Quitting”. Inchoately, the phrase attracted the public eye through a tik tok video, while over time it has become relevant in discourses, especially anent work-life balance.
The article focuses on the relationship between unsafe abortion practices and abortion laws in light of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment, 2021. We focus on the correlation between abortion laws and safe abortions while understanding how restrictive as well as liberal abortion laws impact maternal health.
Domestic workers operate in an unregulated, over-saturated sector, subjected to frequent exploitation. The historical devaluation of domestic labor in patriarchal societies has resulted in these abject working conditions. This is exacerbated by the caste and class-based discrimination pervading these employer-employee relationships and resulting in complicity with or active participation in inhumane practices. The privilege and complicity of the entire class of employers ensure a lack of repercussions for this poor treatment of their employees. This paper aims to demonstrate that these untenable working conditions, the lack of redressal mechanisms for employees, and the unacceptable power dynamics placing employees at the top of an immobile social pyramid, effectively ensure that these individuals are not accorded even the basic dignity due all workers and their work.
The peace process in El Salvador demonstrates how engaging some parties lessened extremism while ignoring others enabled the continuation of societal and economic disadvantages. While it has helped in eradicating the rising political tensions, the neglect of women’s issues continues to be a thorn in the flesh. Though the accord helped in ending the war, it failed to address gender equality. This article aims to examine the main factors that contributed to the marginalization of women issues at the El Salvadoran Peace Accord.
Although Ismat Chugtai’s Lihaaf is often cited as a beacon of queer indian literature in the early 20th century, a close scrutiny of its sub-texts and narrative shows how this attribute may not be entirely suitable to its premise. Several instances and inter-personal relationships, created by Chugtai, demonize queerness as exploitative, undesireable, and ugly. It’s image, as a work endorsing queer relationships, seems to originate from the clever characterisation of the queer persons by Chugtai, and this technique is also evident in Devdutt Patnaik’s recent work of short stories titled Shikandi.
People who form the backbone of a predominantly informal Indian workforce and economy have yet to reveal the full extent of the pandemic. Their hardships necessitate amplification through stories and statistics to paint a picture of what went wrong.
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan has caused a major furore among diplomats and political commentators. Her visit which comes against the backdrop of the deteriorating US-China relationship has riled up the latter to such an extent that China imposed sanctions and conducted military operations near Taiwan in what seemed like a simulated attack. While many argue that the visit has unnecessarily led to more global instability, this article contends that one needs to step back and consider the larger picture of perceiving the visit as a counter to Chinese aggression.
Despite the hardships and the trauma of surviving the partition, Manto wrote about women who were involved in the resistance. He wrote not only about women in elite households but also about those who resided on the fringes of society. Most of Manto’s stories contain women who are not dependent on men for their existence to be validated. They have their voice that carries forth in the story and are not a crutch for patriarchal advances.
Being able to make one’s own decisions is one of the many options that the digital world offers. The gig economy refers to those individuals who work part-time or on a project-by-project basis under their own set of working conditions. Unfortunately, despite how ornate the concept may appear, some of its aspects have been hidden by the concept’s extravagant marketing, especially when it was intended to appeal to women who have been neglecting their jobs because of their obligations to their families. As a result, it is vital to determine whether taking up jobs in the gig economy is a viable option for facilitating employment prospects for females on crowd working platforms, both skilled and unskilled
The mid-day meal scheme is one of the programs undertaken by the central government to provide nutritious food and education to children. Though this scheme has a long history, what is even older is casteism. The roots of casteism are embedded so deeply in society that now they have found their way into the mid-day meal program in various ways. Be it the Dalit students being denied food, untouchability being practised, their rights infringed upon, or even their dropout, casteism is playing its part. What this results in is malnutrition, discrimination, hunger, and the lives of children who are getting affected. The authors in this article attempt to draw a parallel between mid-day meal schemes and casteism and how the former, despite being a wonderful scheme, has been caught in the vicious web of the latter. Further, it has also been discussed how the legal framework has failed to deter the evils of untouchability.
Although people acknowledge that resources are consumed at an alarming rate which jeopardises future supplies and contributes to carbon dioxide accumulation, they consider a circular economy as a trade-off between environment conservation and profits. This article deals with what a circular economy is, its impact on employment, its shortcoming and its reality in India.
Technology has always been at the heart of human development. From agriculture to manufacturing, its constant innovation has enabled the emancipation of countless lives. On this front, these technologies have played a crucial role in emancipating women in modern society. By focussing on four main categories – transportation, information and communication, home technologies, and medicine and hygiene – this article tries to provide a comprehensive understanding on how specific technologies have contributed to the emancipation of women in various areas.
The forex market is a shining example of global collaboration. Should we look at it as inspiration for the future?
The recent internet fad being pushed from everywhere is the defamation trial of the actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. This article explores what this case tells us about how the internet culture gets influenced by algorithms. It further explores how feminism evolves, falls behind and reacts to these circumstances.
Not just the states, but South Asia as a region is facing an existential crisis. The urgency of these threats is underplayed by the gradual nature of their onset. Leaving them unresolved entails doom yet little urgency is observed in tackling them. There is a need for a new language which communicates the urgency of a crisis which is slow but sure in its lethality.
This article aims to examine the UNCLOS’s effectiveness and relevance, with a specific emphasis on the case of the South China Sea and the UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal’s 2016 ruling on the issue. The article contends that, while China’s disregard for the ruling and the Philippines’ subsequent undervaluation of it harms the UNCLOS’s reputation as international law, it does not undermine its effectiveness in clearly defining and resolving the legality of disputes through efficient mechanisms, as will be discussed below.
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