Sunday, January 31, 2010

Myself in Dilemma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Before mid-term we have gone through the article where we learned about 'Prisoner's dilemma' where the players make their decisions independently. At that moment it seemed to be very useful tool to get the real information.
But after going through the article " Common Property", i myself came in dilemma. Here in this article, Runge has attacked the adequacy of the prisoner's dilemma as a model for studying group use, saying that it does not adequately reflect the interdependencies of joint use. According to him, real-world commons users don't exhibit such independent, separable decisions. Rather, commons users condition their decisions on expectations of other behavior.
Did you also come in dilemma after reading this ?
If yes Why, no why?

A collective action in need ??

A collective action is required by the students in IRMA along with mess staff to reduce the waste of food in our mess.

Even though our mess is students mess, we are unable to reduce the wastage of food. Though this issue is raised by some of us in GBM before but it goes unheard by the majority. The food is wastage of food is due to:

1. Many of us go out for meals in large group without informing in mess even when it is pre-planned.

2. Left-over in our plate.

Can we do something about it ?

Do we have a true representative?

People elect their representatives to represent them. But does a representative truly represent people. The candidate has to spend money during the elections and so naturally once the person gets elected his/her intention would be to get back what was spent. They would use their power to meet their own political aspirations and could be termed as 'Nest Featherers'. People also choose their representatives expecting some personal benefits. The ultimate result is that dedicated leaders often won't get opportunities or they won't be allowed to work in their own way as the clout of influential people won't let it happen.

Is visual media a substitute for collective action??

Few days back, we had a discussion in class about why the instances of collective action are decreasing? What could possibly be the reason? Has our concern about the world around us reduced? Have we lost trust in collective action? Are we so engrossed with our own lives that we don't take collective action about issues around us? Why do we not raise voices? Even when we do, why does it die out so fast?
One of the reasons could be the media..the 24 hour news channels which give so much coverage to issues-both in a good and bad way that may be the need of people protesting against issues has decreased.
So are the news channel a substitute for collective action??

Women And Collective Action

Women have been part of several movements such as freedom struggle, anti-liquor agitations, etc. As we know there is a cost to a collective action and I feel this cost is far greater for women than that felt by the men. Breaking the social barriers, leaving their children behind for an agitation, managing both their home as well as sharing the responsibility of the collective action are certain examples of this extra cost on them. Sometimes more effort is required to be taken seriously in many male dominated bastions. So the collective action theories also have a gender specific angle to it


According to me leadership in any situation cannot be taught, along with that leaders are not born. so the question is how leaders emerge? i feel to be a leader you need to be intelligent it does not means academics intelligence, i am talking about intelligence which is required to be adaptive to different situation,it is to take right decision at right time to survive and put your point effectively if you have this you are a leader wait for the situation!!!

Value Education

When I was in school, we used to have a course called Value Education. It's an excellent course, if "taught". But its one of the most neglected course in school curriculum and not accorded the status of Mathematics, Physics, etc. In my opinion, if this course is conducted properly then many of our concerns may be allayed. Disrespecting our culture, country, teachers, parents, etc can be controlled to a great extent if education of values in imparted from early age. A collective action by sincere people may bring the attention of our education ministries towards this matter.


Joint Forest Management

Joint Forest Management is one of the fine example of Collective action where both state forest department and local communities work together for preventing degradation of forests. Villagers agree to assist in the safeguarding of forest resources through protection from fire, grazing, and illegal harvesting in exchange for which they receive non-timber forest products and a share of the revenue from the sale of timber products. The major reason for the success behind this programme was benefits to both the parties i.e. govt. and local people.So collective action can be more successful if all the parties involved in collective action are benefited.

The global warming ruckus!! all myth or some truth!!

The current imbargo about the projections allover the world about the global warming being nothing but an exaggerated story of environmentalists seeking funds for their research has put a question mark on the future of initiative like copenhagen and kyoto protocol regarding saving planet earth. It has also lead to loss of credibility of big names in the fields like our own nobel prize winner Mr. CK Pachauri and his institute. The citizens of the world deserve an explanation from all those involved about the actual reality and for separating truth from myth.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Should JAATRA be scrapped?????????

After having a great discussion about the MILAAP, we are going to have another event "JAATRA" in February which is a block wise competition. Here also we need collective action and co-operation from each one within a block with the motive to win JAATRA. For this we are having holiday for 4/5 days i.e. no classes, only participation for event.
But many people have booked tickets to be far away from campus during this event. Still many are planning to do the same.
If the students themselves don't want to participate in the event then what is the use of JAATRA?
Why should the free riders be given another chance by having this event? Here also, there is no compulsion to be here in campus during JAATRA like MILAAP. so why JAATRA?????????????
Just scrap it and have classes so that at least there will be collective action and co-operation for attending the class.

Save Our Tigers!!! Another chance to do a collective action

From last couple of days we are discussing about Milaap and whether it was a successful collective action or not? Some of our friends opined that it should me made a practical kind of thing for CAC.

So, I thought, can we really go for a practical for this and while browsing the net, I came across Save Our Tigers Campaign. I found it indeed a campaign that needs a collective action to succeed. So I request you all to go to the following link and find out how can we promote the awareness about our National Animal which is on the verge of extinction. And in this process you will feel like doing some kind of collective action. Also its pretty easy for free-riders to reap the benefit without putting so much of effort.


Friday, January 29, 2010


Forced In 2003, the state passed an ordinance to install rain water harvesting structures in all old and new buildings. Now people in the state are reaping rich benefits. The ground water table in the state has shown a phenomenal rise.Forty percent of rainwater which would earlier flow into the sea is now being stored underground.

As a result of this, water scarcity is now a thing of the past. Rainwater harvesting has become a people's movement in the state. When Jayalalithaa made this compulsory, many were skeptical. Today even her critics call this a revolution in conservation of water, worth replicating across the country.

Milaap: Evaluative component for CAC.

College events are organized on the basis of the collection, co-ordination and co-operation among the students. Though Milaap has a huge success from an external angle but it is not so internally. The crisis aroused is purely because of the lack of effective co-operation.

I strongly request sir, to include milaap as practical exercise for CAC along with blogs and posters. This will resolve the problem of non-cooperation during the event to large extent. Problem of free-riding will be taken care of by the instructor who has proven ability to do so ( remember the evaluation of RRM assign.).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

For an active social movement...

Active social movements may be supported by individual voluntary organisation with paid staff, but the role of such personnel is to support the volunteers who provide the real energy in any social movement. The staff must share the spirit and commitment of the volunteers, even though they may depend on the organization for their livelihood.

Battle at Kruger

Another example of collective action among animals.
The Battle at Kruger( is one video clip which took the internet by storm . This depicts the collective action of a herd of buffaloes at the Kruger National Park against a pride of lions and a crocodile to save a calf of their herd.

IRMA campus-Collective action by monkeys

These two pictures depict how collective action is programmed among living beings. It comes out in open during various occasions. In these pictures the basic need to fight hunger has brought them together. There are four monkeys, one in the room throwing out food to the monkey in balcony. The monkey on balcony throws the food on the ground and keeps an eye on anyone coming. The other two monkeys are eating and collecting food from ground for eating it after-wards and sharing with other two monkeys. Isn’t a simplest example of average collective benefit > individual benefit.

Technology...n Collective Effort

Two of the major challenges in computing has been memory size and speed of operation which is generally in Terabytes and TeraHertz these days. But this memory size and speed requires huge investment. Some of the firms in the world that doesn't have such huge funds came up with an idea of Distributed computing.
A distributed system consists of multiple autonomous computers that communicate through a computer network.A distributed system have a common goal, such as solving a large computational problem. Alternatively, each computer may have its own user with individual needs, and the purpose of the distributed system is to coordinate the use of shared resources or provide communication services to the users.

We can find a lots of online distributed computing operation going on where we can share our PCs also.

Contagion Theory's Worst Example

The (not so gentle-)man on the right,Joseph Goebbels, was the living example* of contagion theory and how to put it to 'best' possible use.As Hitler's right hand man and propaganda minister and no less an orator than Hitler himself,he instigated many a mob violence against helpless Jews, most infamous being the one at Kristallnact which 'started it all' (Ref: . The most infamous quote of his " If the lie ,however big and audacious, is told repeatedly and in convincing manner, will eventually be accepted by the masses" underscores how a few can instigate many to put their brains/rationality 'at rest'.

*See the video of his boss and see closely how he casts a spell on audience..
(wanted to post here only but it wont work :-(

Collective Action Against Corruption

A sentiment that is common to many countries around the world is how to fight corruption? Companies are interested in fighting corruption, but none want to be the first guy sticking his head above the water. In other words, the problem is really solving the collective action puzzle – how to get everyone else on board at the same time?

Coincidentally, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), together with the World Bank Institute and a number of other stakeholders, is organizing an Executive Development Program — Fighting Corruption through Collective Action in Today’s Competitive Market places that takes up this issue head on – how to get companies, NGOs, and government to work together to fight corruption?

Posted by Sumit dhorta (P30047)

A look at collective intelligence

Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals. Collective intelligence is not merely a quantitative contribution of information from all cultures, it is also qualitative. The best-known collective intelligence example is political parties, which mobilize large numbers of people to form policy, select candidates and to finance and run election campaigns. Military units, trade unions, and corporations are focused on more narrow concerns but would satisfy some definitions of a genuine collective intelligence. Internet can also be a good example of collective intelligence.

Omitting of pakistani players from IPL !!!

The omission of pakistani cricket team players by the owners of various IPL teams has been hailed by many in different sections of indian society as a collective action that should send a message to the pakistani authorities that war and play can't go hand in hand.And that this is a gesture that india won't tolerate attacks like mumbai again. While there are others who disagree, and wish that sports and diplomacy be kept apart and not intermixed. Who is right and who is wrong is a question to be debated!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


During my field work in Toranmal village of Nandurbar district of Maharashtra, I came across a very strange situation i.e. a complete failure of SHGs related to many livelihood opportunities in the village due to one reason or the other. When I talked to the people working in the organization looking after the village projects, they said that SHGs are working properly in the nearby villages but they are not working in this village. This was an example of failure of collective action or a village failure to cooperate. I am still searching for the reasons. Please help me out.

Corruption and Collective Action

Corruption is a crucial problem which every economy faces and the attention it receives is also growing steadily. One of the ways to tackle this problem is Collective Action. It includes multiple stakeholders like private companies, Government and the civil society. If we do create incentives for companies to be more transparent and ethical, then it may be a good starting point to tackle corruption. If we think about engaging civil society and public sector in anti-corruption actions, the web becomes more complex. But it doesn't mean it's impossible. Free riders' problem must also be tackled.

Manikandan Sanjive (30037)

collective behavior

In todays movie we have seen the shift in mood of crowd in no time. from this can be conclude that behavior of crowd is controlled by leader? we need to ponder on this, if yes then every violent action in crowd can be blamed on the leader?

Importance of Critical Followership

A crowd certainly has collective action potential but today's movie also showed the critical role a leader has to play to guide/misguide the crowd's collective action in his favor. Brutus convinced the crowd of Caesar’s supposedly harmful ambitions thus justifying his murder while Marc Anthony was later successful in convincing the crowd of the Caesar’s greatness and his innocence.

Collective action potential is like wet clay...can be molded by leaders into anything. So the crowd (at least the rational individuals in it) must be careful and a bit critical of the leader's arguments instead of following him blindly.

Emergent norm theory

Emergent norm are the rules which are established by the group members who have come together for a certain specific reason. The theory suggest that people come with different values,motives and perceptions and this differences among the people encourages the establishment of norm which in turn create an illusion of unanimity and uniformity of behavior.As for example the revolutionaries who were a part of the freedom struggle were all of different values but they came together for collective action and certain set rules assigned to the group according to which all acted .

Convergence in the Ku Klux Klan

The convergence theory of collective action is very visible in the case of the Ku Klux Klan, an extremely radical, anti-black,anti-semitic, anti-catholic (pretty much against anyone who is not a white protestant) group in the United States. The members instigated violence against the black community and conducted lynchings . During such occasions, many white people who would have been otherwise wary of unleashing their hatred and prejudice could freely 'converge' and do so using the crowd as an 'excuse'. This became further facilitated after the KKK members started wearing hoods that covered the members' faces and identities.

History ………. collective action

After today’s session ( wrt session 22) it is clear that even though we are studying collective action at present it has been in existence from ages. The clipping from the Shakespeare’s drama ‘Julius Caesar’ clear says that the collective action have taken places ages back and brought changes in the world along with that helped in writing the history of the Roman empire.

So it can be said that collective action definitely has the power to bring about the change (positive) in the world.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

collective behavior

According to convergence theory people show their TRUE SELVES in crowd. it claims that crowd served only as excuse, as we know not every individual belief's in violence, so how do they become part of the violent crowd atleast they can disassociate themself from that place. I think that SADISTIC PLEASURE can be a reason why they dont disassociate themself from such incidence.

At what price?

I am not becoming cynical but I cannot resist myself in saying that, In IRMA the term “collective action” has become a cliché… for every event we say that it was an outcome of the collective event and it was successful because of the collective action which we put forward.. I will just like to pose an example… Successful completion of Milaap 2010 was the outcome of the collective action which we put forward… But what about the individual sacrifices which was made in terms of sacrificing studies and working for the sake of the batch… How many of us will study less so that the overall grade will be lower and these people can pass???

We need to ponder upon this…

Rising Food Prices: Can collective action be a solution for it?

Recently we are witnessing sharp rise in the food prices. The government appears to be failing in controlling it. Rather we are being witnessed to verbal duels between the union agriculture minister and rest of the cabinet.

In a situation when the profits arising out of higher domestic consumer prices are getting accumulated in private hands, thereby not incentivising farmers to augment production capacities, can a collective action by the consumers in this regard be possible? Will this collective action be feasible? We seriously need to ponder upon these questions in these trying times.......


name of collective action

every movement claims that they are doing with people cooperation. is it really happened. naxalite movement also claim it . is it really happened. reality is faraway from it. they takes peoples cooperation forcefully. alluring young unempolyed youth to work for them. leader of naxalite live with luxury but cadre remain poor for ever. they suffer police atrocities but they gain nothing. where it going ? what it will acheive? question is important than the answer .

Monday, January 25, 2010

Citizen Collective Action

The large turnover of around 500 citizens at Anand Run this year, & the event’s successful completion, goes on to give us new lessons on collective action. It is indeed extraordinary that so many strangers came together to collectively work for a special cause and made it a success. There were no apparent free-rider problems, and cooperation from everyone involved.Not everyone who ran, was running to win, and yet people gave their time and energy for the cause. What can be the underlying reasons that made such a large-scale collective action a success & how can things be replicated in future?

Middle Class and Collective Action

Prof. Sony's assertion that the middle class has not really shown collective action prompted me to reflect on such movements. It is in fact true that the middle class in urban areas are not resorting to collective action to protest or voice their opinion save for the odd SMS sent to news channels.
Bomb blasts, deluges etc which have left many people dead has not evoked any outburst from the middle class. The cost of having such collective action is very high for the middle class who do not have a "leader" "the selfless utiliarian" who will initially bear the costs of the collective action.
The media has also projected the middle class as a "market" with rising incomes and not as as class which can influence the decision making process. This view has been accepted by the middle class and has reinforced in their psyche. Hence no felt need for collective action.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cooperation and friendship

Cooperation in friendship is found to be more common in doing things that are against the rules. For instance, in case of an examination there is enough cooperation among the majority to do cheating as it will help in getting good grades. So if a person doesn't cooperate to do cheating then can he/she be considered as a good friend. Cooperating for the right cause at the right time can be more fruitful rather than doing it for the wrong cause and a good friend will always cooperate for the right cause.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Trade union movement in Kerala has resulted in shutting down many private enterprises. They failed to achieve their objectives of ensuring safe working conditions and better wages. Rather they were succesful in losing the jobs of the workers. Is it because the trade unions were merely concerned about wages and began thinking like capitalists? I would say that it was also due to the failure on part of the employers to recognise the workers as part of their enterprises, delay in settling the issues and the politics played by the leaders.

Credit in collective action

The participants in the collective action often feel the need for recognition. Sometimes this need of recognition only becomes a motive to work in collective. Sometimes people also work in order to get some visibility among the people or to become known or seeking attention. However there are a few people who work behind the curtain and are not so visible. They do not do it for recognition. The question is that how to distribute the credits and also how to avoid people who take false credits?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

w.r.t session 21

In today's session, we looked at movements and institutions. We talked about the discreditation of groups that have the same ideology as the state but are using illegitimate means. I hava a query in this regard. If we take the example of the Gujarat riots,2002 we find that many sections allege that it was perpetrated by Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. If we take this to be true, how can we think of any sort of discreditation if both the state and the perpetrators are the same!

Is Group Size, a major determinant for Collective Action to succeed?

During periods of downturn when countable top giant bankers failed, they could collectively bargain with their respective federal governments and succeed with their objectives. The collective actions on large scale like French Revolution, American Revolution and Non co-operation Movement were also successful in bringing out the intended change. According to Oslon's logic of collective action, smaller groups will generally be more successful than large ones. So, does it mean that mass collective actions' results do not fulfill the original objectives?Is it only partially fulfilled?

S.Manikandan Sanjive (30037)


The 4th edition of the Earth Hour campaign, an event by WWF, is up on 27th March 2010. It can be termed as one of the best examples of a unique collective action by citizens of countries across the world coordinating at a fixed time. Media and Internet has made such a huge event a reality. The essence of the event is on climate change and the impact individuals can make by doing their bit, noteworthy is the realisation that seems to have dawned on people everywhere and the rapidly growing success year on year i.e. From one city in 2007 to 4000 cities in 2009.

Pareto and Elite Theory

Influenced by his engineering background Pareto desribed power distribution in his book "Mind and Society".One of Pareto's main ideas was that when the number of individuals increases the more rational and logic act the group as a whole because the more individuals are involved,the illusions are lower.In his opinion the group responsabilise the individual making him more rational.One of his most important principles is "law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity",which states that that 80% of the effects comes from 20% of the causes.
He emphasised the psychological and intellectual superiority that the elites holds.He classified elites into two groups-
1.Governing Elites;
2.Non-Governing Elites.
He said that a whole elite can be replaced by a new one and one can circulate from being elite to non-elit

Local vs Outsider Politics...

Investment brings about cheer in the state that new jobs will be created! In the craze of new jobs, governments give a lot of incentives to business conglomerates. However, it results in influx of outsiders for the jobs created in the state because unlike government jobs, there is no local quota or reservation for locals. So, the very purpose of investment is defeated. Over that, the locals are employed as labour and outsiders rule over the locals! This triggers a discontent among the locals. This discontent takes form of a revolt, which develops into a rebellion. Political leaders derive mileage from this form of rebellion and fight for a revolution. Incidents like anti-north Indian campaign in Mumbai are examples of local-outsider problem. Today, the Government of Maharashtra has finally changed policies with respect to taxi driver licenses towards the locals.


It is an effective mechanism to overcome the free rider problem which is a big roadblock in successfully carrying out collective action and cooperation. Thus helps in sustaining cooperation by allowing one to cooperate as long as everybody else does and defect forever if a single other agent defects once. Once people start following such a strategy the non cooperative beneficiaries will themselves refrain from defecting from the fear of retaliation. This will go a long way in ensuring that everybody cooperates equally by sharing equal responsibilities for a collective task enabling it to achieve its objective.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Collective action…. Milaap ??

These days the PRM 30 batch is busy working for Milaap. The people are directly or indirectly involved in the preparations. It is another event whose responsibility lies on the batch. Many other people are also involved to make this event possible. Can this be called collective action of the batch or of a group of people focused to make this event possible?

Reduction in Collective Action these days- a different view.

In class,we’d discussed with a rather “unfortunate” tone that collective action(like the ones where middle class take to the streets protesting price rise etc.)has decreased these days. But I would like to say we should look at these as a proof of empowerment of individuals and also go beyond thinking of collective action as being epitomized by STRIKES/BANDHS. Technology today has made the “Collective” go beyond the physical and take up forms that are not conspicuous or apparent like in the past.

Empowerment and mutation have changed the face of the collective!


amul and politics

As per the article in gujarat their is limited role of politics in milk co-operative which means their is deep conspiracy of politics to de- politice the milk co-operative,by small number of higher class....whatever the case in maharastra atleast democracy prevails in co-operative, people have stronger say in it.....which is better ? can be have a case in which politics and management are well mixed?

The Disappearing Middle Class

It was indeed fascinating to realize that no real revolutions are happening in recent years!& even more fascinating to delve into the various reasons being cited,the most thought-provoking being the apparent disappearance of the ‘middle-class’! It’s unfortunate that, although Liberalization has uplifted the middle class to slowly start merging with the upper elite, it has not had equally +ve effects on the plight of the poorest people.Probably this disconnect between the middle class and the poor has only left the latter even more helpless and weak. Can we ensure the progress of the middle class without leaving the poorest behind?

Choice of the weak:Rebellion or Muted Resistance

Every community or individual who wants to protest always has the choice of doing so either in the form of what Scott called the -everyday forms of resistance or try and spurr an open rebellion. What are the factors that govern this choice? Does a rebellion necessarily require the presence of economic or political might so that the costs can be met? Is it that the weak would opt only for everyday forms of resistance or Are the equations different? I feel the premise that everyday forms of resistance are the weapons of the weak is not true. We know well of all the major revolutions where it was the weak, the oppressed who led the march. Chinese revolution was led by the poor farmers, Russain revolution by the poor labourers. It seems there is a tipping point beyond which the costs of suffering the oppression outweigh the costs of an open rebellion even for the weakest of the weak. A cognizance of this tipping point and the factors which can tip the scale in favour of an open rebellion does require a deeper thought.

Vision for Collective Action

Some of the collective actions are successful because of the way they had been planned through. Starting from one individual, they take up a larger form. Social business, a revolutionary concept initiated by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, is indeed an example of the same. The most important thing he realized was that individuals are not one dimensional beings who always intend to maximize profit. With faith in this and association with a French company Danone, he initiated a social business which provided nutrients enriched curd to poor people in Bangladesh and has been highly successful.

w.r.t session 19

Today we talked about conflicts and protest. We discussed why there aren't any protests against recent price rise (a rise of 20% in a single month's time). Many opinions were put forward about this. I feel the answer can be found in the disparity that exists in the society. The people who have the resources aren't bothered by the price rise and those most affected don't have enough representation as i see it. It is simple. As long as people keep paying for the goods, prices will stay as they are or worse still, rise.

The Lord of the Strings?

Uttarayan marks the spectacular event of kite flying in Gujarat. The government went a step ahead and organized an international kite festival to showcase the cultural beauty of Gujarat. However, increasing number of kite deaths, killing of birds and traffic mishaps, poses a grave danger to all of us. When, kite flying is such a fun, why is it turning hazardous? Its the innate competition to cut strings that is taking toll on the people! The success of your kite flying depends on how many strings you cut.. Standing at one place and flying your kite gives you no harm. Following this incident, a large number of schools and organizations are creating awareness about kite flying- which should be taken as a fantasy rather than war in the skies.. The race for the 'Lord of the Strings' is turning to be fatal!

Non-violent Revolution and Collective Action

People generally preassume revolution with violence and anarchy.But,in the history of civilization many revolutions and movements have been successfully accomplished through non-violence.
Our approach to nonviolence and nonviolent opposition reflects an alternative understanding of power in the modern world.Social scientists commonly follow Weber in assuming that power derives from the legitimacy to use violence and coercion possessed by those controlling the state,who can "realise their own will in a communal action even against the resistance of others"(Weber 1946:180).
At the same time culture of non-violent opposition transforms human relationship defined by love,dialouge and cooperation.The purpose of non-violent opposition is not merely to take over the control of states-and replace one tyranny with another-but to expand the power to promote social justice within states, between states and societies,within societies and between societies.

rebellion and revolutions!!!!!

whether it is a riot or rebellion or a revolution, all of them are ways of showing protest or public unrest. The common uniting factor among all of these is that they are violent forms of collective action. the question that lingers my mind is how do we differentiate among these different forms of unrest except?????????where is the demarcating line which tells us whether this is a rebellion or a revolution........and what is the point of origin of any of these outbreaks or outburst?????
Rashi Modi(30031)

Monday, January 18, 2010

weapon of weak

as per the article poor resist peacfully to get barganing power, i agree that some policy change has resulted but, definetly it takes very long time along with that the extent of its efficiency is doutfull. i feel unless the fundamental structure which is reproduced by actors will not change,its not going to help much,for that to happen we need agents who can challenge the structure...but....WHO WILL DO IT?THE POOR? OR SO CALLED RATIONALE PEOPLE OF OUR SOCIETY

muted resistance

the concept of slavehood entitled stripping a human of all the basic rights he was born with. He is reduced to a state of total submission and no relief . in such conditions , over the ages people opted for one of the two available options, open rebellion or complete submission . But as James Scott pointed out there was a third option available wherein through small actions they caused great discomfort to their owners thus enjoying a trivial victory. when a person is oppressed and has no other way to go he'll end up fighting till the end, rather than die in an open rebellion, where their death will be valueless, these people preferred to live and in their own small way retaliate against the injustice meted out to them.


The article, “Weapons of the Weak” by James C. Scott, raised a few apprehensions in my mind. Most prevalent among them is the degradation of ethics and moral as a sequel to the practice of these. Adopting methods of passive resistance, foot dragging, flight may help to evade the exploitation in short run. But in the long run, when these methods get established as a part of our attitude, it results in the disintegration of the work culture. Perhaps this is the prevalent cause behind the degeneration of the government work culture today. So, how justified are these methods?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Firm as a Collective Action outcome

By firm, I mean the entity which is involved in production process in an economy. Why does the firm exist? If "price mechanism" was the director of factors of production as many economists claim, there would be no need for the firm to exist. Indeed all the factors of production would enter into contracts with other factors of productions in a "market exchange" process.
The firm exists as the aforementioned costs are reduced when an entrepreneur through a firm "directs" these factors of production. The costs involved of absorbing many factors of production under the "firm" and co-ordinate their activities is less than pure "market exchanges" of the same.
Thus the firm as a collective action outcome reduces cost of production and hence exists in the "market" thereby benefiting everyone economic agent

Quality Control Circles- A Collective Action of Students and Teachers

Collaboration of the efforts of students and teachers in the formation of Quality Control Circles in schools and colleges are the real steps for maintaining the educational standards and for dealing the friction between students, teachers and management. This is ensuring the clear understanding on both the sides about the objectives and goal of the curriculum. The direct interaction of both explores the path for future cooperation between them, resulting into overall grooming of the students and broadening of their vision.

Friday, January 15, 2010

change in collective action with evolution of humans

After taking a closer look at the reading of Fredrick Engels I realized that society would have started with collective action only where a gentile system was existing and other daughter gentiles started evolving from it. The society was a natural grouping which smoothened the internal conflicts themselves. Also both the genders were given equal importance and there work was equally appreciated. But as resources started increasing there was differentiation in the society where the ownership rights of these resources were in the hands of a few. Due to this internal conflicts started growing and collective action with respect to the resolution of these conflicts became impossible. This division is widening making collective action more and more difficult.

aditi chaturvedi p30001

The right or appropriate time for collective action

The recent protest by the National Hockey Team's players just before their departure for World Cup, presents an integral part of a collective action- TIMING. The players waited till the right time so that they can be heard loud and across the country of their plight and succeeded since they got media coverage and public support.

The sugarcane farmers from UP went to Delhi on November 19, 2009 to protest against the Fair and Remunerative Prices Act, on the day it was being discussed in the Parliament and as an impact of the farmers' protest the government agreed to scrap it in the next 3 days.

Effect of Socialisation on Collective Action

Since our birth, the feeling of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ is instilled in us. First initiation into this happens in family where common identity with certain groups is ingrained in us, based on caste, religion etc, highlighting our differences from others. This continues at school where differentiation on basis of ranks, popularity, choice of music etc, leads to groups. These groups compete with each other to prove their worth over others. While this may lead to stronger collective action of these sub-groups against others, it eludes the concept of larger ‘WE’, hampering action at a larger collective level.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tian An Men (The Gateway to “Peaceful Skies”?)

The 1989 student’s protest on Tian an Men was because of the presence of pro-democratic, impractical intellectuals that were produced by the leftist policies in the Maoist era and the government policies that blocked the upward mobility of these graduates who were large in number.
Students used to be a potential source of leadership in the 1980s, now they are important third party mediators between challengers and authorities.
Collective action and protests are being chiefly organized by rural peasants and urban industrial workers.
A case where perceived roles define “potential propensity to collective action”.

Expectations of the rich and the poor

While conducting surveys I have observed that the people who were economically backward were more willing to spend time with us and cooperate with us. But it was not the case with some of the rich people.What could be the reasons for this difference in the behaviour of people belonging to different classes? A fraction of the people was ready to cooperate because they expected some positive outcome from it and the other class of people had a different view about it. So the perspective and the expectations of the people belonging to different classes can influence their decisions.

Individuals can make a difference!!!

Individuals can make a big difference through their little action which triggers a mass co-operative action. I will like to discuss CJ(citizen journalist)program initialed by cnn-ibn(TV 18 group) in which citizens come up with their reports on cnn-ibn. This makes a great impact on our society and many issues relating to it. Recently one of the CJ came up with a report on Gayatri Devi, a 90 year old freedom fighter from Bihar. She was denied of any government benefits and was struggling in New Delhi for her rights. Due to CJ initiatives not only Delhi government has to come forward but also many citizens came up with help.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Has the collective action resulted into high growth rate of Bihar?

People's memory is very short in a democracy like India. Just one and half years back, on the night of 18th August,2008, Bihar faced the biggest catastrophe after independence under the "Sushasan" Of NDA government.Kosi-flood resulted into the loss of lakhs of people in Kosi and Purnea division.
At that time I was working for the rescue and rehabilitation. I was said by one of the district magistrate of that region on the night of 20th-"Ranjan ji, pehle main apni jaan bachaun ya aapke area ke logon ko bachane jaaun?" There was total breakdown of government machinery.Only the poor people helped each other for their survival.As Sony Sir explained that poor people are more cooperating to each other than riches.I found the same during that time.Still crores of rupees of relief-materials are lying and rotting in the premises of railway stations.Loots of billions of rupees by goverment officials taken place at that time.
So,it is not the cooperation,but,manipulation that is showing high growth rate.
A person,sitting in the office of Dy. Chairman,Planning commission,Bihar ,has himself inheriting highest landed property in India(more than 7000 acres of land).Can we expect equal distribution of the so-called growth of Bihar?

Has the collective action resulted into high growth rate of Bihar?

Some other recent data about Bihar-
Bihar has a population of over 80 million people, approximately that of Germany. While Germany’s annual production is valued at US$2.9 trillion, Bihar’s production is around US$24 billion, or less than 1 percent of Germany’s. Bihar’s statistics are depressing even compared to India. Its per capita annual product is a third of India’s. The growth of Bihar’s economy actually decelerated as the rest of India’s growth accelerated. In 1980s, Bihar’s real per capita income grew at 2.6 percent (national average 3.3 percent), but in the 1990s, Bihar slowed its real per capita income growth to 0.0 percent (national average 4.0 percent.) It was at the bottom of the list of 16 major Indian states.
Bihar’s agricultural productivity is half of India’s. That is all the worse because agriculture accounts for 45 percent of Bihar’s income (compared to overall for India 25 percent.) Bihar is actually almost all rural – 90 percent of the population lives in rural Bihar (compared to India’s 70 percent.) And the rural areas are crowded: the population density is nearly 900 people per sq km, about three times India’s population density.
Not surprisingly, Bihar is at the top of the list of negative indicators. Kidnappings: 3rd highest after UP and Rajasthan. Murder rate: 2nd highest after UP. Total fertility rate: 4.4 second to UP (national average 3.3.).Bihar trails in practically all indicators of development such as literacy rate to income distribution.

Has the collective action resulted into high growth rate of Bihar?

See the real picture of Bihar-
According to the report of State Directorate of Economics and Statistics (SDES) per capita income in Bihar during 2006-07 was meager Rs.9,702- the lowest in the country. Similarly according to the report of Reserve of India (RBI) per capita expenditure was also at the bottom of the list. The state spent only Rs. 1,352 per capita in 2006-07. Per capita GDP of the state in 200-01 stands to Rs. 3649.80 as against the all India average of Rs. 11625.20.
The density of population in Bihar is 880 according to the 2001 Census Report. Cumulative per capita grants from the Centre to the state has been Rs. 488.30 during the period 2000-01 to 2002-03 which is the lowest in the country. Be it per capita development expenditure or per capita social sector expenditure, Bihar ranks last on the national map. Per capita development expenditure for 2007-08 of Bihar is only Rs. 2294 as against the All India figure of Rs. 4308. Per capita social sector expenditure of Bihar is only Rs.1465 as against the All India average of Rs.2492. (Source: State Finances- A Study of Budgets of 2007-08, RBI). Bihar inhabitates the largest population in the country living below poverty line.

Has the collective action resulted into the so-called growth of Bihar?

Some media reports have been quoted to prove that Bihar is growing at the fast rate.I have to say the following in this regard-
1. Higher growth rate in one or two years does not mean that it has has surpassed other states.It is the same way in which we compare Indian economy with the US economy.If India is growing at the rate of 8-9% and US is growing at the rate of 3-4%,it doesnot mean that India has surpassed US.
2. If the said collective action has resulted into the so-called change,then which sections of the society have been benefitted more?It is in the same way that after the liberalistaion,India grown with high rate,but the disparity between rich and poor has widended much.
3. Media and budget management is an art in which the representatives and supporters of creamy-layer are expert.In 2004, Late Pramod Mahajan and his company propogated the "Feel-good" for NDA govt.But,that "Feel-good" bite dust in the loksabha election.Also,the next UPA government found exteme difficulty to manage the budget and economy,which was earlier manipulated to show "Feel-good."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Collective Action in Manipur : A Paradoxical Implication??

I wish to highlight the implications of a collective action that took place in Manipur very recently. Apunba Lup, an umbrella organisation of 23 civil society groups along with three major student bodies of the state have been protesting against the” fake encounter “ killings of 27 year old Chongkham Sanjit, a suspected ex-millitant, in broad daylight by police commandos in Imphal on the 23rd of July 2009. This resulted in an agitation by the groups demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister and DGP of the state police besides action against senior police officials. However the protest took a big turn when the joining of student bodies led to closure of schools, colleges and universities across the state resulting in the suspension of classes for over 4 months . While the collective action was for a justified reason, the impact that it had on the academic activities of the students cannot be undermined and it could well set a precedent for such indefinite closures of educational institutions in future as well. While there is a school of thought that believes that such an action taken is in the best interests of the society at large , as the protests is to ensure the safety of future generations... I would like to pose a question as to whether a collective action by the common people could also prove to be harmful to the very same people they represent??? How do you really view the gains and losses of the sacrifices being made???