Monday, September 1, 2008

Abstracts of Papers submitted for a Sociological Conference held in Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi








Alexander, Catherine
Goldsmiths College, University of London, U.K.
Urban governance and bureaucratic representations of the city in Almaty, Kazakhstan

This paper explores abrupt changes in representations (and their uses) of the city and urban governance. Since secession from the Soviet Union in 1991, the constitutional and lived transformations in Kazakhstan's former capital have been dramatic. For example, state subsidies to industry and collective farms were cut in the early 1990s resulting in sudden mass unemployment and, often, migration to Almaty. .Many of these migrants have untied themselves from the web of documentation that formerly bound them to work and physical location - and also made them visible to officialdom. As a result there are increasing numbers of citizens who are bureaucratically invisible and without a voice.

Official ways of seeing of the city through maps and statistics have changed little since Soviet times, even though these representations produce results increasingly at odds with the empirical reality experienced by bureaucrats in their everyday lives beyond the bureau. However, the purpose towards which such representations are mobilised has subtly altered. City plans once foreshadowed the ideal to which socialism was marching, providing cities to think with. Now the overarching General Plans are seen merely as reflecting the swift colonisation of the once spacious public city by developers hungry for prime land. If bureaucrats cannot 'see' unofficial migrants, so too do many citizens complain of the lack of transparency in administrative dealings as more and more of the city is privatised.

One key question that city officials are trying to come to terms with is the nature of their role in the brave new world of market values: what exactly are their obligations to citizens and how do they negotiate the troubling new boundary between private and public. Conflicting images of the city's direction held by officials and citizens, and common themes of obscurity suggest a profound ambivalence about urban citizenship, governance and democracy in post-soviet Almaty.
RC 03 : Economy, Polity and

Anand, Anvita and Rajendra Ravi TRIPP, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Work and Social Identity: C Rickshaw pullers in Delhi - the state service providers in the urban environment

Meeting the burgeoning urbanization presents unique challenges to due to the heterogeneity of urban the spatial dispersion of social and activities. The cycle rickshaw is a vehicle, does not consume fuel and to-door service. It is, also, a major source for the poor in the cities. It is often the livelihood for the migrants coming search for work, as it requires little skill rickshaw is available on hire for use. This availability becomes especially significant since [ migrants are not of social security in the formal employment in the city. The current banning the rickshaws on the city affecting the livelihood and hence standard of] of the urban poor.

Most service providers. rickshaw drivers in our cities are not accorded of work. Cycle-rickshaws have a ne image and are considered "low-market", and inefficient modes. They and uncounted in official statistics. policies framed on those statistics, ignore presence and needs completely. The urban do not accord them equal right of using road by ensuring that the roads are onb needs of motorized vehicles. However. and uncounted people have made a "place" themselves in the urban service industry "space" in the city, both for shelter and livelihood

This paper is based on the project Research Program on Rickshaw and Pullers (2000-2002)", carried out by the Parivahan Panchayat of Lokayan, a NGO, working at the grass-root level for vulnerable population and survey result (covering approximateb rickshaw pullers in Delhi) comprehensively builds their socio-economic profile and presents the problems they face operating in the city. The paper also places this discussion in a larger context by presenting the stand of the policy-makers and the authorities towards the cycle-rickshaw pullers in

Ghatak, Shambhu
Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST), JNU,
Delhi
Gender Gap in Agricultural Wages and Human Development

This study has been made to understand the extent of gender disparity in agricultural wages across 14 different states of India, namely-- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. An attempt has been made to relate the syndrome of wage disparity to the process of capitalist development in Indian agriculture.Capitalist development, as measured by the level of agricultural output and production relations, may lead to a fall in poverty ratio (which is an alternative indicator of poverty), but do not necessarily e.nsure closing down of agricultural wage disparity due to gender discrimination. However, closing down of wage gap does not always mean a more gender equal society. This is so due to the indicator, which is used for measuring gender gap in wages, may be applicable in one context and not the other.

In order to analyse the extent of gender disparity in average daily earnings of the agricultural labourers, secondary data" has been collected from the Rural Labour Enquiry Report on Wages and Earnings for the years 1983, 1987-88 and 1993-94. Consumer -Price Index for Agricultural Labour has been taken from various issues of Reserve Bank of India Bulletin, and analysed statistically, by using regression and correlation exercises. The study tries to take valuable inputs from the past studies.

The study found out that capitalist development may lead to a fall in the poverty ratio but not necessarily lead to gender equality. In the present study, it has been found that gender disparity in wages exists but there is no clear-cut trend. However, it could be seen that in the states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Maharastra, wage discrimination is prevalent to a great extent. Gender inequality in wages seems to be lesser in the states of West Bengal, Guj arat, MP and Bihar. However, it should be mentioned that Punjab has improved its ranking in terms of gender equality of agricultural wages at the expense of state like Kerala. The study concludes by saying that capturing gender discrimination in a society necessitates the search for a better indicator. An indicator may sometimes show a sign of improvement in a particular context but in reality it is unable to capture the newer forms of gender discrimination arising in the society.

Omkumar Krishnan
Department of Human Social Science, I.I.T Bombay
Missing the Consumers: Plotting the Tangent of Markets in Contemporary India

The economic reforms initiated in the last decade of 20th century have undoubtedly brought significant changes in social and economic life in India. The sociological understanding has been treating the outcomes of liberalization coupled with globalization as an invasion of market economy which will increase the gaps between haves and have-nots in Indian society. It is to be understood that the difference between a backward Bharat and modem India is not only in geography but also witnessed in time period also. However companies concede the differences and using quantitative and qualitative research methods attempt to extract the rationality behind consumption behaviour patterns.

Company strategies are twofold namely, creation of markets and competing for market share. Apart from demographic and psychographic, a comprehensive classification based on education and occupation of head of households is used in segmenting the society. Markets thrive on incessant consumption which forces companies to preserve present consumers and also to hunt for new consumers. The projected targets have been the middle classes which is unfortunately missing both sociologically and physically for marketers. As part of mistaken modernity, it has been stated that consuming is not same as consumerism. Transnational companies mainly try to follow a Mcdonalisation process which was highly successful in general for western countries and in particular to American markets. In the Indian context one of the confusions often made is addressing multinationals and American companies synonymously, which is necessarily a partial truth.

The regulation of the market cannot be solely assigned to government economic policies and programmes but also on control over media and practices of the various players in the market. The question to be asked is whether the government is capable to control or government can solely handle the responsibility. Parallel to this is versions of social responsibility expected from profit making organizations. Does democracy increase or decrease the freedom exercised by the consumers? The missing links between core aspects of culture and media when explored will yield to an extend answers to the success and failures of sustainable markets in Indian society.

Sociologists had predicted the influence of Globalization and linked it to all possible aspects of society in India. The sociological horoscope did acknowledge the short-term benefits but had cautioned about the broader destruction by projecting latent functions of the markets. Through this paper an attempt is made to explore the sociological dimensions and implications of modem markets in the emerging consumer society in India.

Kumar, Suresh
Dept. of Sociology, Osmania University, Hyderabad- 7, Andhra Pradesh
Making Sense of Democracy: Reconnecting Citizenship to Recognition, Representation and Redistribution

The State and society in India have not been able to resolve the contradiction between political democracy and social democracy even after over five decades of democratic experiment in India. The oft quoted observation of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in the concluding address of the Constituent Assembly in 1949, in which he pointed out the inherent contradictions between political democracy and social democracy is still a testimony of the deficiency of democracy from above. Even today, there is a persisting hiatus between political democracy and social democracy. The incongruity between formal democracy and substantive democracy has led to tmrest and tension in society in general. The "million mutinies" are evidence of the compounding of the contradiction. But contrary to this, of procedural democracy and celebrated. There are, of course celebrating the remarkable success of democracy, which the state in Indi to provide despite its colonial legacies. The periodic elections regimes - barring a short intervening enlarging circle of political elites and growing consciousness among the people are some achievements of democratic is still a long way to go towards translating the of social-economic democracy into a livin However, the initiation of democrac' has acted as catalyst in enforcing democracyl below. As a consequence, there is growing,, of deepening democracy in India.

The spread and deepening not uniform for all the groups Whereas the electoral politics and the. action of the state policy have inculcated confidence among the "lower castes" ofthl society over the years, there is growing alienation among the large section There is "erosion of faith" in the institutions The instances of communal violence and reli intolerance have compounded the problems. consequence there is widening gap between and 'they'. Minorities have experienced a shrinking of social and political space. many ideals and promises of the experiment stand contested by the

The withdrawal syndrome from the active participation appears as a si deficient democracy from above. It is note that the "deepening of deml "democratic upsurge", "democracy the catchwords of current political discourse' have largely focused on the growing power "lower caste" in Indian of number and the logic of electoral little attention has been paid to the growing political alienation among Democratic exclusion, apprehension been acting negatively towards the of minorities and full realization of, at diffusion of the ideals of political citizenship rights of equal participation democratic process.

Majumder, Shantanu
University of Dhaka. Bangladesh.
De-secularization of the State and the Growth of Religious Fundamentalism in Bangladesh.

In analyzing the failure of the secular politics and the growth of religious fundamentalism in a non-western state, Bangladesh can be treated as an important case study. Though Bangladesh obtained its independence in 1971 on the basis of the idea of secularism and with a refusal to religious nationalism, nowadays, religious fundamentalism with a complete rejection to secularism has become able to stand as a potential threat to the state structure and at the same time their success in gaining support from the mass is increasing day by day. The existing reality of Bangladesh indicates that initiation of the project of secular ideology in a mechanical way without creating hegemony among the mass is bound to fail as there is no guarantee of secularization on the level of individual consciousness or on the societal level through the process of secularization on the state level.

In this essay an attempt has been made to identify some of the reasons behind the failure of the secular force and the triumph of the anti-secular anti-modernist religious fundamentalism in Bangladesh, which may be helpful in the realization that without considering the historical trajectory of the non-Western areas initiation of the project of modernity could contribute in the growth of counter- secularization and the explosion of religious fervor. In this connection, this article tries to analyze how the modem-secular educated intelligentsia in the pre-independence era (post-independent era as well), biased by the idea of objectification and bureaucratic rationality, views the state craft in fully secular and scientific terms and in this way, give over emphasis on the acceptanceof western secularism as equal to the acceptance of the ideology of progress and modernity that help the anti-secular force in the long run. Moreover, attention has been given to realize the negative impact of treating religious people as backward, superstitious, or reactionary in general, by the modern-secular elite (both nationalist and Leftist) in the Bengali society. Again, this article holds the view that generalization of the term fundamentalism by the mainstream Western media and politics has contributed to the spread of religious fanaticism in Bangladesh, like some other Muslim states. Beside these, this paper aimed to investigate a relationship between the aid from some of the Islamic countries and the success of the religious fundamentalism in Bangladesh in capturing the space of the civil society. Finally, this article put emphasis on the argument that though once the secularist elite in Bangladesh had great success in infiltrating the idea of secularism among the urban middle class, due to the problem in understanding the differences between the idea of religion-as-faith and religion- as-ideology, severely failed in the cultural transformation of the mass of the society.

Motwani, Ameeta
Department of Human Social Science, I.I.T
SHGs and Empowerment of Rural Women in Haryana

Provision of micro-credit through Self Help Groups has emerged as the latest fashion in the practice of poverty alleviation in the Third World countries today. The success of the Grameen Bank experiment in Bangladesh spurred interest in this model resulting in both the NGOs as well as the government sector adopting it with support from the international donor agencies who are advocating it as the best way of fighting rural poverty.

This paper describes how the concept of serf help group is adopted by a programme that aims to empower the rural women in India. The programme is jointly funded by the Government of India, the World Bank and IFAD. The paper is based on fieldwork conducted by me for my doctoral thesis in Sonepat district of Haryana. Women in this state experience some of the worst forms of gender discrimination in modem India.

The paper shows that the officials in charge of implementing the programme at various levels i.e. center, state and district have different perceptions about what the main objectives of the programme are. It also highlights the importance of the role played by the village level workers in the success or otherwise of the programme. The paper describes the problems faced by this programme during its initial phase and points to some of the weaknesses inherent in the programme design. The paper attempts a critique of the use of SHG model for poverty alleviation.

Parthasarathy, D.
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Economic Liberalization and Justice: A Critique of the Emerging Judicial Discourse

Taking as its starting point, the recent Supreme Court ruling stating that government employees have "no fundamental, legal, moral or equitable right to go on strike", this paper critically reviews several recent judgements by different courts in India dealing directly and indirectly with issues arising out of economic liberalization. Using John Rawls "justice as fairness" approach and his "principles of justice" which enable one to generate individual judgements on public issues, the paper reviews a few of the actual and proposed changes in industrial relations and the legal framework, before and after economic liberalization in India.

The judgements analyzed include those on economic and policy reforms, and worker's rights. An analysis of the emerging judicial discourse reveals an uncritical acceptance of the neo-liberal and neo-classical economic framework, and a lack of awareness of the conditions under which certain policies and rights were established and institutionatised in India in the post-independence period. These judgements explicitly and implicitly contradict existing laws and constitutional provisions, as well as established principles of equity and justice. The paper seeks to bring out the larger social implications of legal changes and judicial discourses especially in terms of the partial demise and metamorphosis of democratic.

Ray, Ashok Kumar
ISS- LM No: 1047
Revisiting Tribal Self-Rule

In this paper an overview of the tribal self- rule has been done in sequentially arranged parts. The first part gives a colonial and immediate-post- colonial background thoughts on the subject. The second part is a decadal road-map of institutional reforms starting from the 73rd Amendment Act to the PESA Act. The third part is a brief introspection into the ethno-political process behind the formation of ADC and a critical overview of the Bhuria Committee Recommendations on tribal serf-rule. The fourth part is a critique of ADC as an in tribal self-rule based on the experience introspection.

Roy, Anupama
Department of Political Science,
Chandigarh
'Governing Citizenship'

The notion of citizenship is constituent of democratic thought. strands of democratic thought - liberalism - have shaped the idea contesting ways. This contest is made today in the different and mutually exclus in which citizenship is understood as denolit formal status attributing rights, an idea, activity, an obligation/responsibilit when discharged entitled one to certain r even as a cultural herita analytical category, to gauge the manner in which participation is understood and and the various socio-political which determine the form, substance and, such participation.

The nineteen preoccupation with the pedagogy matter of governance. In the to raise some critical issues in the citizenship in contemporary India (a) by within a comparative perspective citizenship education in countries historically followed different practices will be explored (b) by a exploration of the pedagog3 and (c) by its specificities, as well as issues it traverses common grounds with the trajectories elsewhere. The questions I hope to address through such a study pertain to (i) the relationship between the changing definitions of citizenship and conceptualizations of political community, and the methods of preparation for the same (ii) the contexts within which concerns about preparing for citizenship and the substance of citizenship become subjects of animated public debate and policy making (iii) the issues which such debates throw up viz., questions of identity and democracy; plurality, diversity and multiculturalism; civic education and associational life; difference, equality and participation. The identification and exploration of these issues in debates and policy making in a historical and comparative perspective would enable one to address broader questions pertaining to state and civil society, and philosophical issues concerning the nature and substance of citizenship.

Satyanarayana, G
Professor of Sociology, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Janma Bhoomi Programme: A process of Political Mobilization and Democratic Development - A Study of Government Programme in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh has been in the limelight of India since more than two decades. It is due to the popular and dynamic leadership of the state such as late Sri.N.T.R. and his successor son-in-law and present chief minister Sri.N.Chandrababu Naidu who have been ruling the state since 1983 except a brief period i.e. 1989-1994.

These two leaders as heads of T.D.P regional party and as heads of the Government have been initiating number of innovative policies and programmes for the benefit of various sections of the society specially the rural poor. The nature of the programmes is not only to initiate all round development of the people but also to involve them in the socio-economic and political process, which is the real spirit of democratic governance. One such programme of development is "Janma Bhoomi" which has become very popular not only in the state but also in the country. The main aim of this programme is to develop the villages and towns by the involvement of masses not only participation but also by contribution to the motherland i.e. land of one's births (Janma Bhoomi). It means conceptually people belongs to their birth place i.e. villages/towns involve in the process of development by contribution of 30% of cost or labour. This programme has been initiated six years ago periodically 10 days for every four months and of late it is reduced to once in for every six months focusing on one issue concerned to all people or specific section of the society such as women, weaker sections and youth etc. Thus, the programme has gained tremendous response from the people and emerged like a "Movement of Development" by the active participation and initiation of the people in the process of development at grass-root level. Government of A.P. has earmarked some funds in the budget for the Janma Bhoomi programmes.

With the above conceptual and theoretical understanding, this study mainly aims at to understand the prospects and the retrospect of the Janma Bhoomi programmes in terms of its socioeconomic, political and bureaucratic mobilization in the process of democratic development.

Sharma, R.N.
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Capitalist-Mafia and its Well-paid Servants: The 21st Century City under Seige

Some 15 years back, the underworld mafia (turned builders) encroached delicate backwater lands in lush-green Vasai-Virar coastal area of Mumbai region and constructed thousands of houses in the 'green' (no development) zone by violating all planning norms. The then ruling political party moved into the matter and instead of taking action against rampant illegal activity, converted more than 7500 ha green lands into 'urbanisable land' and thus extended sanctity to the creation of wealth (mostly the black money) by the builder-mafia. In another instance, some five years back, Abdul Telgi printed fake revenue stamps worth Rs.2000 crs and kept on selling them in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kamataka and Gujarat. It is alleged by a key leader of the political party in opposition in Maharashtra State that one of the key leaders of the Democratic Front (presently ruling the State) got Rs.20 cr bribe from the kingpin in order to suppress the case. Since the scam by Abdul Telgi was too severe to suppress, he is now in jail-custody but with a VIP treatment. The closed textile mills since over a decade now in the city involve the release of some 2.8 million sq.mts. of prime lands in the city. The builder-mafia, mill owners, political leaders and bureaucrats are busy in finding ways of churning huge wealth by selling /he lands for commercial/housing purposes. In such a situation, even the poor slum resident is not spared and in the name of providing 'free' houses to the slum dwellers, scam after scam is being created by the builder-mafia in connivance with greedy politicians. In central parts of Mumbai city multi- storeyed buildings are coming up under the 'tranfer of development rights' where the slum lands are being converted into posh residential/commercial structures and affected slum dwellers are given (mostly on paper) newly constructed houses towards north of the city region. The forces of development are so strong that even NGOs with high profile activism for the slum housing are being coopted in creation of wealth by the builder-mafia.

The above few instances are a tip of the iceberg - the wonderland of neo-rich -' the capitalist mafia, who are determined to seize growth oriented cities like Mumbai, for multiplying their fortunes. The intriguing part is that in their state of affairs, politicians and bureaucrats are turning into 'faithful' servants and are paid well for their 'cooperation'. The shape of things to come in the city of 'gold and silver' is too disturbing to the common cause of average citizen. The generated wealth by capitalist mafia has taken shape of a parallel (black money) economy which negates even classic notion of capitalism, as stated by Lenin, which should involve appropriation of surplus and reinvesting capital into productive assets. In the present context, the generated wealth defies such a logic of capitalism.

The present paper highlights the emergence of capitalist-mafia in City of Mumbai which is not only against the interest of people but also has severally eroded political and administrative institutions.

Taylor, Steve and Singh, Manjit
School of Social Sciences and Teesside, UK
Dept. of Sociology, Punjab University,
Chandigarh
Punjabi Communities in the UK

Punjabi is currently the commonly spoken language in Britain Punj for their economic success and for educational attainment, perhaps there has been no systematic investigation of these communities This paper reports upon the preliminary such a study. Based upon original conducted within Punjabi Britain, it will be argued that a rationality, that is kinship and rather than individualised, is the central, Punjabi communities in specific economic rationality has stron communities within India/Pakistan, trace their original roots, than it does structure and culture of British society. will also be suggested that this often idealised ima which is 'frozen in time' and does match contemporary reality. The implications, argument, particularly for the younger third generation) members of Punj, in Britain, and the conflict and turmoil result, will also be discussed.

The paper will necessarily engage wider sociological debates, including: impact of globalisation; the combination of 'economic' and 'cultural' gendered power relations and the sexual difference; 'racial' and ethnic relations.

Yerma, H.S.
Centre for Social Action,5/505,Vikas Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
The OBC Identity and Treatment of the OBCs by the Mainstream Ruling Parties in India

This paper lists the specific tricks played by the ruling classes and parties in handling formation, consolidation and assertion of the OBC identity. First, whereas the provisions for compensatory benefits for the SCs, and STs were kept mandatory, those for the OBCs were left to the discretion--and, of course, the convenience of the governments, Central and state. Second, identification and scheduling of the OBCs was left undefined in the Constitution and has proved to be cancerous. Third, the states that had a long tradition of affirmative action for the OBCs came out with very large lists of the OBCs and brought almost three fourths of their population under this category. This ensured that major part of the reservation-- and other benefits dispensed by the government-- flowed to the dominant communities whereas other communities in the OBC lists secured lesser or only nominal benefits. This also diluted the horizontal unity of the OBCs since resentment against unfair treatment breeded hostility among and between them. Fourth, the OBC lists also contain SCs, STs and nomadic and semi-nomadic communities including the Vmukta Jatis in some of the states. Fifth, while very high percentage of reservations have been allowed to the OBCs in some of the states, the measure is limited to 50 in most others. Sixth, measures other than reservation for the emancipation and empowerment of the OBCs have not been taken up in the right earnest. Seventh, the sub-division of the OBCs has become a 'divide and rule' stick for the ruling elites. Eightth, a move is now underway to grant reservations to the "poor" of the upper castes putting aside the twin criteria of historical discrimination and social educational backwardness for granting reservations.

The second part of the piece analyses the treatment meted out to the OBCs by the mainline political parties, in particular the Congress and the BJP and two OBC dominated parties.It is indicated that between 1947and 1967,with minor exceptions, the Congress under Nehru had worked out a voting bloc combination of upper castes/classes, the Muslims and the SCs, and STs to capture and remain the OBCs. They had been given no space in this schema. Absence of an all India identity, timidity in their behaviour, lack of English education and external orientation, closed mindsets and, finally, absence of entrepreneurship were the main causes of this neglect of the OBCs.

In the third part, the paper first presents the common tactics used by the upper castes to systematically ruin the numerically most preponderant sub-category of the OBCs, i.e. the peasantry while the knowledge -based segment of the Indian economy has been supported and enabled to do exceedingly well in a globalised economy: it then lists the specific tactics used in handling the totality of the OBCs as a social category. It is concluded that power for the OBC men has not been the same thing as it has been for their upper caste colleagues. Whereas major part of the blame can be placed at the doors of the ruling elites, the fact still remains that persistence of the culture of backwardness among the OBCs has also not allowed them a level playing field in the Indian society, economy and polity.

Source: http://www.geocities.com/rc03_web/allabs03.htm

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