Saturday, January 31, 2009
What I am trying to explain here is that despite being initiated in various states across India viz. Maharashtra, Keala, Jharkhand, U.P, why not it took the shape of a nationwide movement. In the mobilization phase of this ‘movement’ ideology was quite in place i.e. issue of deprivation and there was of course a stress on collective participation of those who face deprivation. The strategy they adopted was fitting in the mobilisation phase i.e. gherao, strikes, bandh etc. What is seriously missing is a charismatic leader, a demagogue who can take this sporadic protests into the institutionalize stage. Every state union body were fighting independently and could not come together at the national level. Again a characteristic feature of this protest against retail majors is that it is broadly a class based 'movement' against those sitting at the top level owning the means of production. Now the people sittng at the top of hierarchy would not have simply allowed so far, the movement to take shape at national level. This they achieved through media, control over legislative bodies and other such measures.
I am looking forward for your comments on the above viewpoint so as to broaden the analysis…
this is said to be one of the common queries faced by the fellow Indian traveller in the north eastern states which lies very much inside the geographical boundaries of Indian state. I wonder what is preventing the rest of India from acknowledging the north east as their integral part (after 60 years of independence)...if you are countering the statement please tell me if you had noticed any of the massacres or bomb blasts taken place in the region a few days prior to the TAJ hotel attack. ie did you come across the obscure single column 3 inch news item on the third page of the national daily.
would it be because
the very low population of the region and the weak political bargaining power owing to very small number of parliamentary seats
geographically cut out from the rest of India
the conspicuous anthropological differences
...i can go on....
...i can go on....
North eastern India is having our country’s longest running insurgencies. These movements have been waging for a couple of generations and one may wonder if the ends have shifted for the means.
"If India was the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire, the remote North East of that country is its Hidden Jewel"
And what is the narrow thread that ties India as a state of ‘unity in diversity’. Is it is religion as the RSS claims – from Gujarat to Arunachal and from Kanyakumari to Kashmir- or speaking of it when how did a way of life became a religion...
Friday, January 30, 2009
Kyoto Protocol agreement says that industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of GHG by 5.2% compared to the year 1990. The goal is to lower overall emissions of six GHG- carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs. If an Industrialized country is not in compliance with its emissions targets, then that country is required to make up the difference plus an additional 30 percent. In addition, that country will be suspended from making transfers under an emissions trading program. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions .
Need for this agreement in the international community:-
Climate change is one of the most important issues facing the international community and Concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased markedly during the past century which had significant effects on the climate. Coming of likeminded countries forward to protect environment was in accordance with convergence theory.
Main feature of the Protocol:-
1. Emission Quotas for each member countries.
2. The principles of Emissions trading and Joint implementation by member countries.
3. Clean Development Mechanism for long term sustainability of environment.
Understanding international Collective Action to implement Kyoto protocol
Emissions of GHGs from any one country have the same effect on the atmosphere as those from any other. It also recognizes that without their involvement, international collective action may fail. Co-operation requires that nations perceive sufficient benefits that they are willing to participate in international treaties or other arrangements. USA was one of the first nations to sign and ratify treaty. Canada has set target to reduce emissions to 6%.
Why collective action of this sort?
Climate change is a Global Public Good which require stronger and more coordinated action and Co-operative action reduces costs of mitigation and adaptation. In this scenario International joint efforts are more effective as standalone efforts by any single country will not bear fruit.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
European Union members, the Organization of American States, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, newspapers like The New York Time have collectively protested against physical condition of detainees. The newspapers, it may be argued here, are participating in this collective action purely because of rational considerations.
In June 2006, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in support of a motion urging the United States to close the camp. Among the voters were U.S.s’ perennial friends the United Kingdom and other NATO allies who were actively participating in the war on terror. They seem to have taken this step to participate in a one of its kind opportunity that has arisen. The European Parliament in a sense wants to give out a message to the global community as a whole that if there is someone in the world that cares about human rights then it is them.
Finally this collective action has bore fruits and the new President, Barak Obama has assured the world that this facility would be closed in a year’s time. This shut down would lead to a more explosive discussion on what would the future hold for the 245 male prisoners left on the island? Probably some collective action by the civil society at large would again be needed to bring justice to these 245 men.
There used to be lots of water logging in the fields during the rainy season, as the construction of road had blocked the natural drainage. This problem was just limited to the farmers whose fields were located on the other side of the road because the newly constructed road was on the way of natural flow of water. Farmers were not able to take crop during one season of the year because of the water logging. Villagers complained to the block office about the same but no action was taken initially but after some amount of agitation by the villagers they agreed to put the drainage pipe on priority basis. The block official brought the pipe and left it besides the road, near the water logging area. When villagers asked why they are not completing the work now, they told that as labour is not available we will come some other day and install the drainage pipe. But many months passed by but no one came for digging road to put the pipe. Some people, who had the field on the other side of the road, told them not to put the drainage pipe fearing that it will cause the water logging in their fields. The rainy season was about to come but no work was done by the government official fearing the opposition by farmers having land on other side of the road. People repeatedly complained at block office but there was no action from there side. Now people had no option but to wait for the next season as the rains were about to start in few days. During this time some farmers, who were affected on the large scale came together and decide to put the pipe themselves. Now they called the meeting of all the farmers whose lands were affected because of water logging, irrespective of their caste. Everyone decided to contribute a human labour per family. But some well to do farmer were not ready to do physical work so they supplied paid labour for the same. Within few hours they were able to complete the whole work which was bothering them since many years.
The benefits were visible from the beginning then why people took so much time to take the collective action?
Monday, January 26, 2009
This is regarding the collective action which I observed during our fieldwork. We went to ushegaon village of adilabad district. About 7 years back in the whole village decided to construct a temple where an old statue of Lord Hanuman was situated. Being a poor tribal village this was almost a dream. But under the leadership of two people Surebhan and Manik Rao, this dream is close to coming true. It was decided that all families in the village will pay an amount of 1 rupee per week. Even this was not compulsory. But the families paid this amount regularly.
When this amount reached an amount of 5000, Surebham and Manik rao went to open an account in the bank, but the bank manager refused to open an account. Not getting disappointed they came up with an idea of rotating the money in form of giving loans to the people of the village at lower interests than the moneylenders. This had a dual advantage, the amount was increasing and the people were getting benifitted. Today except two families out of the 104 families no one depends on money lenders and the best part is that the total amount has reaches 5 lakhs. The work on temple is going to start in February this year. Thus is a clear illustration of what wonders a simple collective action can do.
Why is not mobilization of poorest is given its due attention? Probably no takers or may be too marginalised to be worth uplifting... I am not too sure.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
When we talk of collective action, we have been generally talking in terms of individuals. But I think that the theories and principles of collective action are equally applicable to the nations as well. The reason being that, with trade liberalisation in place, the under-developed and developing countries have become very much vulnerable. The developed countries can use their clout for extracting undue benefits in the form of anti-dumping laws and other non-tariff barriers. The developing countries can challenge the existing power equations only if they come together.
An example is the case related to gasoline imports. Venezuela lodged a complaint against United States in 1995 under the dispute settlement mechanism of WTO regarding violation of WTO norms.. Brazil also joined Venezuela in 1996 with a seperate complaint. Some other developing countries joined the two later. Much pressure was created by this united block of developing countries and finally the judgement went in their favour. Doha Round of WTO talks was also a good example when the developing countries through their collective action were able to raise their voice and resist the existing regime of agriculture subsidies by developed countries. So if the developing countries come together, they can resist the existing power structure of present political and economic order which allows much space for developed countries to exercise their disproportionate power vis-a-vis developing countries.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
It also voices people's grievances against the system. Here comes the role of media as a “social agent for change”. Wherever the executive or the legislation falters, it's the media who takes up the issue as in a democracy it's the people who have the power in their hands. But sometimes, this power of being able to reach to the masses and the ability to shape the public opinion is not aptly handled by the media. For instance(as discussed in the presentation also) as we saw in the case of Jessica Lal, Priyadarshini Mattoo, Nitish Katara, Shivani Bhatnagar and the Aarushi murder case, media has played an immense role in charting out the cour e of justice.
Not saying that taking up the cause of justice for someone in particular is wrong, but is the media right in being subjective? Should it try making and judging opinions rather that just providing information? Is it justifying its role when it tries to play the judiciary in these cases?
Please reveal your thoughts on this…
Friday, January 16, 2009
An interesting point was covered in the class today. Sir told us that he never gives money to the beggars as it would demobilise all the beggars and they would not form a cooperative (which he wants them to form).
In a similar way we can argue that welfare funds or the grants which are given by the state to promote development in the country will never serve its purpose as it would demobilise all the people involved in the said activity.
Also, evertime we help or train a person for an activity we are actually increasing his "loss" and so everyone should learn on his own. Or, we can also discuss that the class will never serve its purpose and there should be no kind of teaching or whatsoever!
Please comment on this paradox.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
A question always comes to our mind that how prices are decided in the market place. A buyer goes to the motive with the objective of getting product at lower cost where as a seller comes to the market with the objective of earning maximum profit. But as a seller, cannot charge higher price in a competitive market according to his whims and wishes. He has to take into account other player selling the similar product in the market as any one sided increase in the price can lead to loss of market share. At the same time a buyer cannot demand a product at cost lower than its manufacturing expenses. So over a period of time, equilibrium is reached where interest of both buyer and supplier is taken care.
To tackle the problem of low price these firms form a cartel where they fix the minimum price of at which a firm can sell the product in the market. Opposite happens in the sellers market where they decide the maximum price they are going to offer for a product. Some where down the line a equilibrium gets establish.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The striking feature of this movement was that it had diversified support and a great social impact. It cut across social and cultural barriers that usually many politicians have attempted to exploit to fulfil their own ends. One major success factor of this forest struggle was the participation of women as they were the chief victims of the deforestation, having to travel over large distances for fuel and fodder as the trees vanished.The important factors, which led to large-scale participation of women in the areas according to my understanding are as follows:
· Because many men in hilly areas are away from their families and villages seeking employment in the plains women often remain responsible for their families and villages. These women have become accustomed to leadership in meeting the requirements for community survival.
· Even when men are present, it is the women who go to the forest to gather fuel wood or water they therefore feel most immediately and acutely the impact of the destruction of the forest. They are alert to the devastation of the environment and respond readily, knowledgeably, and confidently to the need to protect against it.
Thus I consider this movement a great accomplishment in post -Gandhian India where rural women united for a common and social cause for direct non-violent action.
Comments and other such examples are heartily welcomed.
Monday, January 5, 2009
This is based on a article in the newspaper in I recently happened to read and would like to discuss on this forum… it really generates an array of thoughts... at least to me !!!
This thought crosses my mind quite often that with regular terror attacks, poor infrastructure and relatively unstable political scenario, how India managed to be the 2nd fastest growing economy in the world (didn't we hear it quite often)... There even goes a common saying that “Our economy grows at night when the government is asleep." As if to illustrate this, the mumbai stock market rose in the period after the recent terrorist attacks. Markets were closed next day but re-opened on Nov 28 and defying speculation of fall, it actually closed 66 points higher. Also in recent elections, incumbents were ousted on the basis of economic issues, not security. The fastest growing country is China, understandably with its quite efficient state. Scores of other nations have same sort of economic reforms as India, so why is it that Indian economy has become world’s second best. Answer may lie in the much reviled caste system. Vaishyas, members of the merchant caste, who have learned over generations how to accumulate capital, give the nation a competitive advantage. Not surprisingly, Vaishyas still dominate the Forbes list of Indian billionaires. That explains in some way, while growth in China is much induced by an efficient state; in India’s case, it may well happen despite the state.
Welcoming your views on this...