Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 - INDIA ! whats up ?






B N T - p30021.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lagaan—Collective Action and Co-operation

I couldn’t help myself appreciating Aamir Khan’s excellent performance in 3 Idiots. It also reminded me of one of his earlier movies Lagaan and how it depicted co-operative action between the villagers who were otherwise divided on various issues. The action was to fight against the tyranny of the Britishers who underestimated the power of collective action. This could be seen as an excellent example of an authoritative power exploiting the powerless masses and leaving them with no other option than to take collective action against this exploitation. Kudos Aamir for portraying Bhuvan as authentic as it could have been!!!


In exchange economy those who benefit from a good or service should pay for that,this applies to use of natural resources also ,when a MNC makes a manufacturing plant in third world country it uses natural resources of that country i dont mean to say that it does it free of cost but does that third world country gets its proper share of benefit? what about the cost which is incured in way of polluting the envoirment of that country .who will pay for that?

Women and collective action ???

During the field work, I observed that NGO’s (SBMA) played a role in motivating the women to come forward and initiate the collective action. These women took the initiative to clean the internal path of the village. These paths were deposited by filth which caused inconvenience for both the human population and the livestock. There were thorny bushes on both the sides of the path and they act as shelters for insects. The head of Mahila Mangal Dal (Women Organization) not only participated but also encouraged the others to join in the action. The fruits of effort of the women there are enjoyed by all including men and the youth.

Then why is it that the youth and men do not participate in such an action. We cannot attribute time as the reason for not participating as the majority of the men do not go outside to work or help in agricultural field.

How can a collective action such as cleanliness be successful unless all the villagers participate in it?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The curious case of 'media activism'!

Over the last 3-4 years media has been lauded, or rather, media has been lauding itself for the 'brilliant' work it has done in the field of social activism. The role played by media in certain cases has no doubt been exemplary, and all credit must go to all forms of mass media for bringing these issues to the fore, however, sometimes, the boundary which must be drawn is crossed, and some sections of society unfairly get advantage of all the brouhaha created.

Taking the particular example of the Uphaar case, it was undoubtedly great on part of the media to having given voice to the victims' families, however, the circus created by the members (even a welfare body has been created, Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy!), and the kind of support given to them by the members of the media is certainly not a good example of collective action.

Next to none has been written or shown by the media about the defence’s arguments - (which, if i may add, are not that invalid either!) - the reason being that it is very easy to 'go with the flow'. Whoever may be right or wrong, but tagging a group of people as 'faulty', with the system still in the process of passing judgement on the issue, and creating all sorts of propaganda about it, may be collective action, but it isn’t action in the ‘right’ direction.

P.S. These are solely my opinions, and I stand by them, however I'm sorry to all those who I may have hurt with these statements.

Rajat Bhatia, 30029

what's next??

The agitation for separate Telangana is taking new shape in Andhra Pradesh. The statement of Mr. Chidambaram is again invoking protests in Telangana for assured promise from Centre and called for indefinite strike in Telangana for the same. One interesting aspect is that the parties that supported the Telangana formation prior to elections changed their stance, and started United Andhra agitation. This led even to the division in the given party as well. But after resistance from the Telangana representatives, Joint Action Committee which included all political parties’ MLAs and MPs of the region was formed and are now fighting collectively for the formation.

Media Activism

Certain cases change the way things are or happen ::
1) Uphaar Cinema Case
2) Jessica Lal Murder Case
3) Nitish Katara Murder case
4) Sanjeev Nanda Hit and Run
5) Shopian case (J&K)
and now the latest in the list is the Ruchika Molestation case.
the similarity in all these cases is that these were first highlighted by the media and slowly led to a mass protest. What followed is known to all of us, candle light marches and other forms of protests. This inturn led to the investigating authorities becoming more proactive and under pressure from the people the politicians too lubricated the entire procedure for judiciary to function. But the question still remains as to why there are only handful of cases which get mentioned by the media and as to why the people have to protest to get what they command--JUSTICE..and but the only consolation is that people get together, with the media reinforcing the call and thus action is carried out. an action which is just and an action which is called for ..and also to mention in two of the cases I mentioned, two women single handedly fought the cases against all odds and inturn proved what Keshav just pointed out..

Artificial Movements..!!

From the last one month, we have been hearing huge separatist movements in Andhra Pradesh! I made it a point to note what really drove these movements. Large Scale Unemployment coupled by 'Increased cost of living' has forced students to take up whatever job that comes to them. This gives our opportunist politicians a fair chance to employ them (Rs.200/day + two meals a day) to drive a separatist movement. And the work isnt very difficult; You just have to march on the streets, shout slogans for sometime (only when media covers you) and then settle down in a place with placards. Are these kind of movements sending tremors to the Centre?? Is media magnifying the whole situation?? And who is the loser finally?? Many cases have already been booked against these students! Who is to be blamed for this irrepairable damage??

Monday, December 28, 2009

Women Empowerment For Collective Action

I am giving the link of a highly appreciated scene of a National Award winning film-KRANTIVEER.We can see the different faces of women.When the then President,Shankar Dayal Sharma saw this movie,he was mesmerised.Some people argue that this can happen only in the bollywood movies.But,many times it happens in real life.Women are not disabled.She can also perform in every walks of life.But,certainly there are many inherent physical and mental differences between men and women.What Gandhi said was also right that both complements each other..


From the Tehalka tapes to the latest N D Tiwary's scandal, these thing come in news because of the sting operations. At a higher level, the fake undercover operation focuses attention on the length to which the highly competitive news channels will go to catch the eyeballs. Sting operations of dubious merit, in which reporters go out of the way to persuade individuals into behaving inappropriately before capturing them on a hidden camera, have become staple with some news channels.

I think Journalism that relies on deception must satisfy at least the 3 conditions or professional norms before carrying out a sting operation:

The information that would be be revealed out of the sting operation must relate to a larger social and public purpose, the value of such information to the society must outweigh the injury caused by deception and the undercover methods should be used only as a last resort when information cannot be revealed by straightforward means.

The use of unethical industry techniques of news gathering can only strengthen the governments misguided attempt to regulate the broadcasting industry. A code of conduct governing the sting operations - that would allow only purposeful and socially relevant undercover journalism on rare occasions under supervision at the highest level - could be the first step towards drawing up a blueprint for the self regulation of the broadcasting industry.

B N T - p30021

World is unjust...


Even though the issue of US female soldiers in Iraq is disturbing and should be condemned, one has to ask a simple question; Is this world fair? I mean isn't the vulnerable who has been targeted and exploited since ages? And this is no gender specific. The sexual abuse of men in the US army is equally prevalent and it outnumbers the women cases:

But that not my point. The moot point is are we living in an utopian society where evey one understands the essence of 'ahimsa'? Probably not, so one has to withstand his/her ground and fight it out when marginalized rather than blame the system and feel pity on self.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What motivates an individual to cooperate

In the present day world it is seenthat people have become more self centered and materialistic. But still people cooperate to achieve a common goal. The general impression is that people have to sacrifice some of their personal interests inorder to cooperate with others. But people are not ready to sacrifice their interests without expecting anyhting in return for it. So it could be said that people give more importance to self interests than the common goal.
All of us know that group farming of rice is beneficial to the members of the group. But most of the people dont prefer to do it. It is seen that poor and marginal farmers are more willing to cooperate with others in case of group farming as they are the ones who are going to benefit more. In case of group farming all the activities are done based on a common understanding among the members. It helps to reduce the cost of cultivation and there would be an equal distribution and accessibility to resources. Even if the farmers are willing to cooperate there are many external factors that hinder cooperation among the people. The distribution of land can be considered as one of these factors.
Another factor is the self interests of the people. The poor and marginal farmers are willing to cooperate because group farming would help in reducing the cost of cultivation and improve the yields. The rich farmers are not inteersted in group as it would force them to share the benefits thatthey used to enjoy with the other members of the group. Their self interest is to get greater yields than others. So it could be said that self interests motivates people to cooperate with others as well as not to cooperate with others.

Is there scope for Women's Participation?


Before anyone jumps to a conclusion on the ‘unsuccessful’ experiment of deploying women soldiers in Iraq, I would like them to see the other side of being a woman soldier in the US army:

This article describes the horrific conditions these women had to face everyday of their war-posting, because of numerous cases of sexual abuse of women by their own colleague soldiers, that it saddens to see how 'ahimsa' as the 'infinite-capacity-for-suffering' is being redefined. How can women complement men when they don’t even get honest opportunities for the same?I don’t know whether men and women are equal or not;atleast their degrees of suffering do not seem2 match.


Saturday, December 26, 2009


Would a prefix "Co" to the word operation justifies the term Cooperation and there by collective action? This question flashes to my mind when I think about simple things that happen around us where many of us either consciously or unconsciously overlook at them. For instances, a student who has been working hard o get a good score in the exam from a long time shares all he has got with his friends just before the day of exam. As a result all of them score well. Is this a collective action or a Cooperation extended from the one who knew it? In a village, every morning a school going kid reads the newspaper loud and almost the entire village is listening to him. The school kid is creating awareness and the knowledge is collectively being recieved by the villagers. Is this again Cooperation? And these kind of examples are endless in our own daily lives.

I think Cooperation is highly possible only when there is a common thing/attitude/belief among the set of people. In both the above mentioned examples there were 2 sets of people who were unaware of the respective things and this paved way for a collective learning which is an action.But why did the hard working student and the school going kid were putting in efforts for a collective action?

I conclude by saying that the spirit of Cooperation comes from within an individual where the key is influencing people by informing, with many other things added.

Now, I have informed all you people what I have thought !

B N T - p30021

Women Participation in Collective Action

The feminist movement, which ranges from 18th century to 20th century, brought some negative changes toward the male-dominated society.It made women as competitor of men.Now,in the name of equality women are participating in those works,that have been understood as the male-dominated.We witnessed that women were sent to fight in Iraq as the members of peace-keeping US led armed forces.And,this experiment was by by and large unsuccessful,as women troops faced heavy casualities.
I would like to quote father of our nation-"Woman is the incarnation of ahimsa. Ahimsa means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering. And who but woman, the mother of man, shows this capacity in the largest measure?… Let her translate that love to the whole of humanity… And she will occupy her proud position by the side of man .. .She can become the leader in satyagraha…".
Also,in Hind Swaraj he writes-""ultimately, woman will have to determine with authority what she needs. My own opinion is that, just as fundamentally men and women are one, their problem must be one in essence. The soul in both is the same. The two live the same life, have the same feelings. Each is a complement of the other. The one cannot live without the other’s active help."
So,men and women are not equal,as said by most of the people.Actually both complements each other.

Why even for justice we need collective action?.......Are our law books useless

I was stunned to see the unabashedly smiling picture of an ex-IPS officer, taken after he was convicted of molesting a budding sportswoman who later committed suicide. A crime which he committed while he was the head of Haryana Tennis Association...............but he has not been charged with abetment of suicide. For this the media and civil society groups have united. there is a possibility that this case may be re-investigated upon.

Why is it that only after the citizens unite the culprits (the powerful ones) are brought to book? We have seen many instances in the recent years where the culprits were earlier convicted for some minor offence, though they were actually responsible for much severe crime..............its only after the general public raises its voice then these 'blots on the society' are given 'actual' punishment.....

Sometimes, i feel that the bulky laws enacted in Parliament are useless if we have the custodians of these laws holding them to ransom......................

Shashvat Singh (30044)

Friday, December 25, 2009

What is fair?

Who should decide what is fair and what is not?
A person holding the resources might argue that he was the first to discover it and put in all his efforts to develop it and make it usable. On the other hand, the have nots will say that since it was free for all, so it is not acceptable that the first movers advantage should hold till etenity. But the moot point is how to come out of this situation.

For example it was fair from the Britishers point of view to rule the country because they were providing law and order to the highly fragmented landmass of princely estates. From the Indian point of view, it was unjust because they were slaves in their own motherland. But was it the British who said it was unfair? No, it were the Indians who raise the voice and pushed them till it was borne in minds of the English that this will not go on.
So, fair or unfair is very subjective and those who want a change bring about the same through collective action.


earth belongs to every one,but few extract much more than what should come as their part on the cost of others.every one has a part on earth which belong to him as a citizen of planet earth,even for pollutung earth they have their part,but when a developed country or anyone consumes more he not only utilizes more than his part but also pollute others part,imagine an ultra rich neigbour dumping his waste in our house, now becouz of this waste climate catastrope occurs,this calamity doesnt look for country which has caused pollution it can come anywhere,now rich have adabtive capability but poor scummble to this,thus he gets punishment for what he doent deserve.IS IT FAIR???

Are Politicians and Bureaucrats,the major obstacle for Collective Action

Whenever we found any problem,we say that it was created by politicians or bureaucrats.And,when we find any good thing,we give its credit to the so-called intellectuals.I was reading a comment on a blog.People who donot know the functioning of the government also tries to criticise and blame all things on the government.They forget that every citizen is part and parcel of the government.Government does not mean only permanent and temporary executives.And,all the citizens are equally responsible for all the goods and bads.
There are some other facts-
1.Goverment is still the largest intervening agency.Many govt. agencies and depatments are making profit with the social responsibility.Many Navratna PSUs,Armed Forces,Indian Railways are few of them.And,these departments are not run by IIM graduates.
2.Some people thinks that NGOs and developing agencies are giving great service to the nation.But,most of the funds,they get comes through government.There are more than 15 lakhs NGOs registered with the government.All of them donot perform well.In some of the areas of our country,people know NGOs as the medium of making black-money.I was running an NGO for the last 9 years.I know how most of the NGOs functions and how they get resources.

Some "educated" people thinks that their study will be very beneficial to the society.But,rarely they do any thing good that benefits outside their own "domain".Most of the times all these studies goes against the common goods and becomes an intrument to exploit the society with much tact.
My own experience says that reading a book is much easier thing with respect to winning the confidence of someone.Why not so-called intellectuals join politics and reform all the bads.Many scholars have tried for this.But,most of the times they failed.Why?Most of the people wants comforts and MAUJ-MASTI.Very few wants to join politics.Because,there is a great risk of career and life.So,no one will hear this MANDODRI-VILAAP.
If there was Gandhi at the time of National Freedom Struggle,most of the persons of that time had some gandhian thought and actions in themselves.Politicians are the representatives of our society.They have not come from the planet Mars.They are the mirrors of our society.
If a mining engineer becomes the father of White Revolution,a fruit-seller becomes the Shahansh-e-gham of Bollywood,a journalist becomes the prime-minister.....they all had no such expertise in their field of success.So,any formal degree or eduaction is not sufficient to acheive the collective actions.
As Raju sir said-"The world outside this 60 acres of land is not so kind and protective to us."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

women in collectine action

Role of women in collective action has always been questionable. This was clear from one of the experiences I had during my fieldwork where the women were not allowed to participate in the gram vikas samiti-a collective action initiative taken by the NGO we worked under. Even after their willingness women were kept uninformed and kept away from it. The evident reason behind this was the patriarchal setup in the village which bound the women only to the household chores prohibiting them to participate in the common good of the village. Even the deputy Sarpanch of the village was against teaching girls as it was supposed to ruin the Indian tradition. Till such conditions prevail the collective action in a village will always be incomplete benefiting only a part of society in turn increasing the gender divide.

Aditi- 30001

education and collective action

it is often regarded that education helps in bettering our understanding and thus make us sensitive towards the need for collective action and cooperation in life, both personal and professional. but the question is whether the present system of education is helping the cause or actually undermining even the feeble chances for cooperation. many social and educational experts affirm that the present system has failed in instilling the sense of cooperation among the people. in his classic 'De schooling society', Ivan Illich proposed an alternate education system to the one existing. we in our PRM sessions emphasise the need for collective action and cooperation, but the foundations on which we are part of is so shaky to create any positive orientation towards it. so the point is whether to have a collective action to address the lacunae of the present education system right form form the school curriculum.
sanju (30038)


In India,after mid 1970s,a new trend has been emerged in the arena of so-called Social-Service.Many film actors and actresses,models and some corporate houses in the name of "Corporate Social Responsibility", bagan to give service to the society,like-visiting the slums,having photo-sessions with the poor-naked orphans of DHARAVI,giving donations to the orphange,building houses for disabled and old-aged people etc.All these have been done by those people,who are on the other side exploiting the interests of the whole country by stealing the billions of public money engaging themselves in all types of manipulation.They makes their presence in the corporate-controlled media,enter themselves in politics and again exploiting with their larger instruments.
But,YEH PUBLIC HAI YEH SAB JAANTI HAI.And,we still can find the differences between the works of Neeta Ambani,Nafisa Ali and on the other side Medha Patkar and Dr.Kurien.
In India,millions of people dies every year because of BADH,BUKHAR,& BHUKHMARI(Floods,Fever and Famine).There are few people who really works for common good.Most of them donot appears in the media.And,what should be their priority-to collect garbage or to save the lives of poor and downtrodden people?Where people are striving hard for their survival,if we ask them to use IT technology or tell them about Kyoto-protocol,what will be their reaction and upto what mark we will succeed to make healthy environment?It will never work in the present condition.First facilitate those people with basic necessities.And,after that they can understand this GREEN ENVIRONMENT.
There are infinite good things that anybody can do.But,priority,context,time and place are equally important to implement those works.So,cooperation could be initiated for any common good but its success depends on many things.And Gandhi always says-"peoples' capability to sacrifice or fight for any cause are not unlimited."


Jean Jacques Rousseau,a french political scientist,in his work-"The Social Contract",described the common will and common good.
According to him each individual may have a particular will,which is different from the general will of the people.But,the particular will of each individual may be forced to submit to the general will because of the obligations that have been defined for all individuals by the terms of the social contract.The general will is not the sum of all individuals' private interests.Unlike the combined will of all individuals,the general will is concerned with the public interest rather than with private interests.
The general will always desires the common good,but it may not always choose correctly between what is advantantegous or disadvantageous for promoting social harmony and cooperation.BECAUSE IT MAY BE INFLUENCED BY PARTICULAR GROUPS OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE CONCERNED WITH PROMOTING THEIR OWN PRIVATE INTERESTS.
Rossseau was misinterpreted by some of the autocracts like-Hitler and Mussolini in Germany and Italy respectively,to justify their wrong-doings.But,what Rosseau had said,have still to interpret in its correct meaning and perspectives.

What 'It is subjective' means?

‘It is subjective’ / ‘Subjectivity’ is a phrase / word usually often said and heard by us. It has been used quite often in this forum too. What is subjectivity? or What, when I say 'It is subjective' mean? Today’s class made me reflect. I think the term is inherently focussed on ‘I’. It reflects our inability to look beyond the self and self interest; at the interest of others, identifying the enlarged self and move towards common good. This mental block seems to me the biggest challenge in even attempting to identify the common, let alone conceptualize common good.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Breaking Cooperative Behavior

Even though it is important to know how to use cooperation to the people's benefit; methinks that learning how to break any cooperation is also important. More than to help, people now cooperate with each other to fill their coffers and to cause damage to the society. Vote-bank politics, terrorism, non-compliance to work ethics by govt. officials, environmental degradation and race-class-caste-colour-discrimination are all the result of group effort (in a negative shade). I think it would also be important to learn how to break such cooperative behavior so that the real essence of collective cooperation could be harnessed.

Trust : A Stepping Stone to Collective Benefit

The reason we lost the game was simple. Leaving rationality aside, if all the groups had maintained the trust that the other groups had in them; the result would have been different. Some people define rationality as selfishness, infact in a collective action that is one thing it surely isn't. Even before the 10th round, if people had trusted each other the scenario still would have been different. What was missing was trust and if that is not there, then rationality or no rationality; the collective goal is destined to be doomed.

Make India Clean!!!

Recently, I was traveling in a train. I collected all the garbage (which I produced) in a polythene bag rather than throwing it out of the window. When my co passengers tried to throw their garbage out, I requested them not to do that and offered them the same polythene-bag. They were confused for a minute but when I told them the reason behind it, they agreed. Later when I left the train I threw it in a dustbin. People in our country don’t have a tendency to use dustbins; this problem can only be solved by collective action, when all of us try to keep our environment clean. Awareness needs to be spread by the word of mouth to everyone. Try it out, I am sure it will make a difference.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

@whoever read my blog posted at 7 30 today

Sorry that was meant for my personal blog. i will take care not to repeat the mistake.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Win as much as we can...

By playing today's "Rat and Rabbit"game we could very clearly understand that any cooperative action can succeed in long run only if it considers the society as whole.In this world the benefit for one is mostly gained through causing harm to others.this is because our effort are limited to benefit us only.we never try to accomplish a win-win situation for all.
All the nations acknowledge the fact that there is need to cut down green house gas emission so that the existing threat to the existence of life on our planet can be avoided.But no one is ready to slow down their booming economy.what is the relevance of economy if we will have no place to live on earth?"can some body help these leaders in Copenhagen play our "Rat and Rabbit" game so that they will also understand the meaning of cooperation..and do what is good for the entire world not to any particular country.

Naveen Jha(30022)

Rats and Rabbits

Today's game intended to show that profit lay not in going for the immediate individual gains. Rather a scenario whereby almost equitable though small gains are sustained is more preferable. Without co-operation everyone tries to take a decision supposed to maximize benefit and yet it would cut into each other's benefit. Further it would lead to one suffering the most in developing tendencies whereby he works to inflict maximum damage. His reasoning would be that since I am relatively worse why not take down others with me .In doing so he suffers but so does the group.

clock is ticking...........wake up

Every year in environmental protection summits we see Heads of states deliberating on ecological conservation. But nothing concrete seems to be coming out. Rather these summits have become more of a place where developed and developing countries play blame game.

So, now the onus of saving the climate must be borne by us (the citizens of this once beautiful world). As individuals we can play important role to this effect by conserving water and electricity, minimizing the use of luxurious gadgets, creating awareness among ignorant about these practices, etc.

If every citizen does this by breaking the shackles of parochial interest (this was what we learnt from our today's game in Prof Raju's class) then perhaps a time would come when we'll no longer be needing these extravagant summits....................


compulsory voting on gujarat!! too early or too late!!

The recent decision of the gujarat govt. to make voting compulsory in the municipal elections is a welcome step, as the whole purpose of electing a representative is becoming a joke on account of low voter turn out. It may be argued that it is the political system of the country especially its leaders and their policies which is keeping general public away from voting, but that does not justify it. The proposed amendment has also give an option of not choosing any candidate.It's high time this rule is made mandatory for all elections taking place anywhere in India to make good governance a reality.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hypocritic Regulations

Reducing emissions of Carbon di oxide and other Green house gases is still a luxury in developing nations like India pertaining to the fact that there is some price which we need to pay on the path to our development when developed countries like USA and European Nations have already done substantial damage to the ecosystem and ozone layer.. I am not defending the increase in emissions or pollution in India...but these so called developed countries want us to adhere to all kinds of rules and norms and when it comes to them...then they modify it for their own benefits....SAME IS THE CONDITION IN CASE OF NUCLEAR NON PROLIFERATION TREATY and so on.....the list is endless...isnt it say the least...???

Cooperation with whom and what should be done with the people who donot cooperate

I was reading some comments about the game played by us in the class-room.One comment is-

"Gradually increasing trust level is a good way to achieve co-operation. Another way could be, if system of co-operation is made transparent, and people are made aware that non- cooperation will lead to loss to everybody involved. I feel that public humiliation is a good tool to instill co-operation. If rules of game are specified that non-coperating person will be humiliated publicly, than, as a normal human tendency to preserve face in society over everything else could force people in to cooperation.its like blocking a person into his own image, in such a way that he cannot wander out of it into non-coperating."

First major question is to whom cooperation is needed-"Colonial Britishers or NAZIs or Lashker-e-taiba"?And what should be the purpose of cooperation-"to exploit the underdeveloping countries,to butcher crores of people or to spread terror among innocent citizen?"
Gandhi did non-cooperation with the Britishers and faced humiliation many times-thrown out of the train in SA,jailed for many years and many other humiliations.What happened?His cause and voice became the voice of crores of people in the world. Keeping 27 years in the jail,did Britishers successed to end the voice of Mandela.Do you think that military ruler of Myanmaar would be able to shut the voice of syu-ki by humiliating her.
Humiliation can never be the way to find cooperation.It denies the basic purpose of cooperation.
"Rashtra-kavi" Ramdhari Singh Dinkar has written-
"Kshama shobhti us bhujang ko jiske pass garal ho. Usko kya jo dant-heen, vishrahit vineet saral ho". - 'kurukshetra!' ...

Continuing Marginalisation..

Part I : There are 75 landless musahar ( literally translated as rateaters) households in the village where I did my fieldwork. They are probably among the most deprieved communities in India.All of them are landless without any exception. The failure of the government to implement land reforms and their continuing deprivation lead to the strong naxal support among them. But they got tired waiting for the promised change and there is hardly any support for the ideology now.
Part II: Nitish government in Bihar had formed a land reforms commission headed by D Bandyopadhyay.The commission has submitted its report. Couple of months back ; just prior to the by election in Bihar a rumour spread that the government was going to implement the report in some parts. The landed gentry in Bihar voted against the government and the ruling coalition lost heavily in the byelection. The government now is sparing no effort to give the message that it never intended to implemnt the report and it has no plan to do so.
What is the option left for the Musahars now ?

What is the real India?

Some people thinks that India is a country of those people who are engaged in service sector and contributing most to the GDP.But,Indian growth story donot heavily dependent on service industry.In service indusrty only approx.20% of the total population is involved.It is true that they are contributing more than 60% to the GDP.But,that 20% is not the real India.In primary or agriculture sector more than 65% of the population is involved.
If we go through the economical history of the developed countries,we can find that economy develops from primary or agriculture sector to secondary or manufacturing sector and then manufacturing to tertiary or service sector.Because,it is logical and good for any economy to shift its agricultural population to manufacturing sector gradually than to agricultural to service sector.Because, service sector needs skills and education.And,the population which is in primary sector,has no skills and good education.
But,India jumps directly from primary to tertiary sector.So, a small section of the society,who inherits affluence and education,went to the service sector.And,they are thinking that they are the most talented and eligible persons on this earth.That's why the difference between the poor and the rich is increasing day-by-day after the so-called liberalisation of the economy.
Matter of the fact is that rarely any personality has shown his or talent or intellectualism.If anybody works in the AC-office from 10 am to 5 pm,he thinks that he is the most laborious person.Then,a farmer or a soldier who feeds or give security to us,donot work anything?
All these things are the matter of opportunity anyone finds in his or her life.If I were born in Gandhi's family,I might also be the future candidate of primeministership.
People have to decide to whom they want to cooperate-20%(rich class ) or 65%(marginalised)?


One question that my mind has been grappling with for a long time is the true definition of reality. In simple terms reality is the state of things as they actually exist. We all have different experiences of how the world appears to us and thus several realities exist. The pair of trouser I am wearing is blue, is because it does not have blue??(The blue wavelength of the spectrum is the only colour that is reflected in this case). Post fieldwork my concept of reality has undergone a paramount change. Now I believe that our life is like a blank canvas ready to be painted with the experiences and perceptions of our mind by the artist within us.

Co-operative Society- Is co-operation missing??

Co-operative societies functions on two basic principles- Self Reliance and Member-Participation. However, Self-Reliance has been eroded by increasing government intervention! Their plans to merge all co-operative societies to taluka level co-operative society will further reduce the claim making power of the farmer. Supervising authorities point to the fact that control is required to prevent misuse of funds by a minority. However, this argument cannot be completely subdued. Coming to Member Participation, how many farmers are aware of the functioning of the co-operative society? Do they know their rights and are they able to do any internal control? Also, non-active members weaken the movement further, who are sometimes paid for sitting in board sessions in the form of ‘sitting allowances’. Also, there is no guarantee that the leader from the farmer community will not misuse power! No movement can attain speed unless it involves everyone in it! Like the word financial inclusion, I would like to coin a new term ‘Co-operative Inclusion’ where you include everyone in the co-operative movement!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Is Singur needed every time to fight for our own resources?

In the village Bhadreswar where I completed my fieldwork, there was a violent agitation against the proposed OPG power plant. The local Wagher Community is predominately engaged in fishing for last many generations. But after the establishment of the power plant in the region they will be left with no option other than to leave fishing and to migrate from the village.
After the approval of the power plant in the village, they have been regularly opposing it in the court and on various other platforms. The case is still going on but now they are slowly losing because of the conduct of the government in this matter. Nobody is ready to listen to them…………………….so will it be wrong for them to die fighting for their cause?????

SEZ's !! Boon or bane!!

The issue of Singur land as discussed today in Pom once again brought forward the debate whcih has been going on for long since the concept of SEz was adopted that whether it actually does good for development of the country and its massess or it has turned out in another instance of land grabbing in consent with the government by the big industrial houses promoting the. While it cannot be generalized to every case, it should be kept in mind that the farmers whose livelihood are lost due to it, are provided with sustainable livelihood options while not compromising with the idea of development that SEZ's can bring about if done in true spirit.

Does size matter in collective action?

I would like to suggest to the group that why don't we analyse cooperation and collective action by breaking it down to the smallest fragment and then studying each one of the aspects individually and then in relation to other factors.
To cite an example; heterogeneity of a group is an important determinant in arriving a conclusion which is beneficial to all the parties concerned. And so is size of the group. These factors though when looked at collectively pose a different set of problems.
So I think it would be a of a good learning value for each one of us if we can deal with each of the factors and the effect it has on group behavior.
To initiate, I would like to broach on the topic of the group size affecting cooperation among individuals. Prof. Sony had said about the game that we played in the class that had there been less people in the group there would have been less chances of defects i.e. of people moving away from cooperating.
"A standard argument put forward by Olson (1965) asserts that a larger group faces more
difficulties in achieving a common goal compared to a smaller group, because
of an aggravated free-rider problem: “unless the number of individuals in a
group is quite small ... rational, self-interested individuals will not act to
achieve their common or group interests”(Olson, 1965, p.2)."
For an example take the situation of a meeting. When the number of participants is large, the typical participant will know that his own efforts will probably not make much difference to the outcome, and that he will be affected by the meeting's decision in much the same way no matter how much or how little effort he puts into studying the issues. The decisions of the meeting are thus public goods to the participants (and perhaps others), and the contribution that each participant will make toward achieving or improving these public goods will become smaller as the meeting becomes larger.
Same situation may even happen in a classroom discussion.
One important thing to note here is that the partnership business has less partners and thus are less formalized however in terms of a joint stock company, since the shareholders are more, there is more formalization and each and every individuals action is governed by a set of rules and protocols. Had there been no such rules in a big company, the company would have not worked for even a day but the problem of size here is controlled by a set of rules which clearly states each person's responsibility and the income that he would take home.
Have many more points, but "size" of this post is a problem here. As, if the size of the post is too much people may be reluctant to start reading it and so our collective goal of understanding CAC may suffer !!!
Feedback Invited.

Collective Action and Co-operation under able leadership can make a big difference!!!

A lot of people are concerned about the NREGA and its success. But if there is meaningful work and, if it is going to benefit a larger section of society it can really make a big difference. Under the guidance of Mr. S. M. Raju, Tirhut division commissioner, Bihar, some 60,000 people came together and planted 1.2 Crore saplings under NREGA. And it’s not mere plantation, people are looking after it and, thus by this activity earning their livelihood. Also Mr. Raju is working on plan to plant bamboo trees along Gandak River embankment to protect it during floods.


How Cooperation will be achieved?

Cooperation cannot come through managerial capabilities.It comes through leadership quality.Because,a manager always wants "Status-quo", while a leader wants change.And,leadership doesnot always mean party-politics.
If every freedom-fighter of our national freedom struggle would have joined as a manager in British East India Company,they could live their personal lives with comfort.Why they spent their youth-days in jail?
When a sittting judge of the honourable supreme-court, G M Singhvi, came to our campus,he clearly said that we will have to fight second freedom-struggle against the neo-colonial Multi-national companies.Fight does not mean of violent nature only.First we have to prepare our mind for that,then modus-operandus will certainly come.And,that mean will be collectively decided,not by one person or a group of few people.It will naturally evolve with the time.

Cooperation For Marginalized People

Marginalisation is the social process of being made marginal(to relegate or confine to a lower social standing or outer limit or of social standing).Material deprivation is the most common result of marginalisation. It is possible at different leves-individual,community and global/structural policies.
One of my friends has said that government takes tax from the marginalised section of the society.But,the fact is that in a country of having population of more than 1.25 billion,there are only 3.15 crores of tax-payer(according to an RTI filed in 2007).And,there are only 5.4 crores of PANs.The super-rich(few hundreds)who had 19 billions in asstes in 2004,now have 200 billions in assets.If we call tax-payers as marginalised,then what would we say to BPL people?
In India,according to official data,there are 32.5 crores of people below the poverty line in 2009.And,between 2004 to 2009 5.5 crores of the population were pushed back to this line.This is the official data.Many state govts. are claiming they have more BPLs,as stated by the union government.BPL in India means the people who donot get 2600 calorie of food in rural area and 2400 calorie in urban area.
It mean that in our country approx. 30% of the popualtion donot get two-time meal for their survival.And,we are calling tax-payers as marginalised.We haves always thinks that our world is every body's world.But world is different for everybody.We can see the pathetic poverty in Kalahandi,Bastar,Ghumla and Nalagonda,which is the real face of India.
So,non-cooperation is needed with "haves" to strengthen the interests of "havenots".
KESHAV (30017)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Self interest in imposed collective action.

It might be worthwhile to reflect and consider where self-interest would figure in an imposed collective action situation. If there is a work that HAS to be done in a group,how different would the effect of the self interest be on the motivation and incentive when compared to a group work that is voluntary rather than imposed?


Conflicting interest

Today in class Mary Parker Follet's idea of confronting interest was discussed.According to it the best way of dealing with confronting interests is to integrate them together.But in the case of diametrically oppposing conflicting interest that does not seem very plausible. How can two conflicting interests , be integrated for the sake of co-ordinated action in pursuit of one common purpose.People join an action to fulfill their own interest.If that gets compromised, to integrate its complete opposite ,why will the concerned parties go forward.

Hello, Nice to Meet You

First session of CAC and one particular line by the professor struck me and kept me pondering - "Tribals are not subjects to be shaped by others, then they would be mere objects". When people (probably also certain students on their field works) go to survey/research tribal life, tribals are in fact treated as mere reserach objects belonging to some lost chapter in history. Interviews start with questions like "Been to School?", "Part of any SHG?" or perhaps even "Do you know our Prime Minister's name?". Gone are the days when conversations began by asking the person's name first and enquiring if he was in good health, probably thats because in the eyes of these so called 'researchers', tribals are nothing but mere research objects.

Debate on NREGS

The NREGS came as a result of the political response to collective action in form of the people’s movement and articulation of the need rural labor to provide work on demand. There are two schools of thought operating regarding the acceptability of NREGS. One school of thought who backs it up says that it is a means by which the rural poor can get minimum wages for their livelihood. The other holds that-- when even the NSS says that the rural unemployment rate is only 1% what is the need of such a scheme which is also facing charges of large scale corruption?

Please contribute as to what do you all feel about this issue??

Pulkit Gaur (30028)

literacy and common sense

what are we doing in IRMA? getting educated or sharpening our common sense?? what do we need to be a good manager? an MBA degree or common sense?? to achieve something we need education to get every thing we need common sense!!!! anything which i cant do is not which i cant do but it is that i think that i cant do!!!!! try this in your life. take a problem say to yourself with confidence that i can do this then try and see your mind will help in breaking the puzzle of your problem. if the notion that the problem is tough comes to your mind you will feel ur mind is a hinderance in solving that problem ur mind will say to u that this is tough because in start u urself told ur mind that it is tough!!

Fair and Just treatment to Tax-payers.

Co-operation talks about just and fair treatment.A person toils hard running around under hot sun to get sales for his company. But when he receives his incentive for the sales, direct 30% reduced on the incentive amount due to taxes. The benefits which he receives out of these taxes are bad roads, pathetic public transport, 26/11, train bomb attack, quota system etc. Is it just or fair to him that he is marginalized even though he is giving away his hard earned money to get the pseudo good facilities. Aren't we calling for a upheaval against the system sooner or later?? Is their a monitoring system to check the distress burning inside a conman man!!!


Today by the evening when I was preparing for tomorrow’s class of POM, I fell in great dilemma. It was because of the fact that today in the Lecture of CAC, Professor was emphasizing on the fair and just distribution of resources and how it has been a part of legacy of this institute to believe in this manner. And while reading the case of TATA Dream Car Project and theory of POM, the emphasis was to select a strategic location for the plant without taking into consideration the scarifies which local and traditional communities will have to make for the saving of the investment of the already well off section of the society.
Please help if anybody finds the balance between these schools of thought.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Every individual is contributing to the productiveness of the society.Adam Smith says-"every individual intends only his own gain,and he is in this,as in many other cases,led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of(individual's intended end).By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it."

The problem of the back of the invisible hand is known as the Prisoner's Dilemma.This was defined by Mancur Olson in his book Collective Action in 1965.

The basic question is still related to the logic behind the collective action.Pareto says-"if all the individuals refrained from doing something ,every individual as a member of thecommunity would derive a certain advantage.But,now if all individuals less one continue refraining from doing something ,the community loss is very slight ,whereas the one individual doing that thing makes a personal gain far greater than the loss that he incurs as a member of the society.

But,logic of collective action says-"if I am narrowly self-interested ,I would be preasuambly not refrain from doing something.I may refrain but only if my not refraining would adversely affect the behavaviour of enough others to reduce my advantage from communal refraining by more than it would cost me not to refrain."