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Good governance + mass mobilisation = Social inclusion

Why is the health, education and nutritional status of SCs, STs and minorities in Tamil Nadu and Kerala so much better than their counterparts in states like UP and Bihar? The India Human Development Report 2011 suggests that this is the result of good governance and massive mobilisation of the lower castes in the southern states, writes Subhash Gatade


Dalits: Such a long journey

By Kalyani Chaudhuri

Two books -- one offering a historical perspective, the other bearing the immediacy and thrust of the present -- focus on the prejudices and oppression faced by dalits in India, and on ‘battles’ fought, won and lost in their ongoing struggle


Ideas of justice

Lawrence Liang is disappointed with Amartya Sen’s ‘The Idea of Justice’, which seems to offer us a competing political theory, but not necessarily a competing political vision


Indian police: A law unto themselves

The new Human Rights Watch report is a damning indictment of dysfunction, abuse and impunity in the Indian police system, says IPS veteran K S Subramanian


Saffron politics and dalit mobilisation

By Subhash Gatade

Badri Narayan’s book Fascinating Hindutva: Saffron Politics and Dalit Mobilisation attempts to deconstruct the tactics used by the Hindutva forces to politically mobilise dalits to its side. It explains how community myths have been appropriated and twisted to oppose the composite heritage of the people


Savitribai Phule: Forgotten liberator

By Melanie P Kumar

Savitribai Phule's name is not in the history books alongside the Rani of Jhansi and others. But it deserves to be. She, along with her husband Jotiba Phule, was a pioneer in the struggle against oppression of women, dalits, adivasis and religious minorities. A new book sketches her life and work


Fugitive histories as fiction

By Noor Zaheer

Githa Hariharan's 'Fugitive Histories' provides a long list of reports, interviews, witness accounts and the writer's own impressions of Ahmedabad and its environs after the Gujarat riots of 2002


Orissa needs long-term strategy to promote peace and secularism

A fact-finding team that visited the camps and villages of Kandhamal district in Orissa, where the latest bout of violence against Christians has rendered thousands homeless and killed more than 25 people, finds the attacks by Hindu fundamentalists pre-planned and the government's response inadequate


India practises 'hidden apartheid' against dalits: report

A new report by the Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice and Human Rights Watch documents India's systematic failure to respect, protect and ensure the fundamental rights of its dalit population


The violent fingerprint of war

By Huned Contractor

If we can look conflict straight in the face, through the eyes of the young diarists who are included in Stolen Voices, we might be in a better position to deal with it, feels Zlata Filipovic, whose teenaged chronicle of a war-torn Sarajevo became a bestseller recently