Yearly Archives: 2006


The variable notion of time has been doing rounds in the social sciences for some time now. Chronologically a minute is a minute for all of us – but under circumstances the minute may seem like a long time. In fact, I did not realise how long a minute is until I started using the microwave. Waiting for the lift door to reach, the microwave to heat my coffee and my mail to open in a lousy web cafe have taught me the worth of the minute. It is under the frustration of waiting for the microwave to heat my […]

Microwave and time management


I had a prolonged debate on school feeding with a friend recently.  I pointed out that India’s school feeding does not have any ‘means testing’ and covers all children.  If India with its resource base and a large school population can do it, most other countries afford it.  He on the other hand pointed out that USA (read the richest nation in the world) uses means testing to filter children out since it would be infeasible to feed all children (read no other country can then afford it). Is it feasible since India does it? Or is it not feasible […]

Resource Constraint


Life at Syracuse has been fun all thru. This year it’s become even better. The batch that joined after me in the Social Sciences programme is totally fun-loving. Many of them live around J street, where one of my batchmates lives as well. J street has since become a venue for parties. Here are a couple of snaps from the Haloween party at J street.    

Party Gals of J Street



My cousin had left Pepsi – a lab and Spicey – a pup of mix breed with me for a few weeks. I started noticing that the two of them watched every move I made carefully. They were always watching me and monitoring me. I had just read discipline and punish by Foucault and I promptly objected to being monitored. I told Pepsi and Spicey that they surveillance gives them undue power over me and I object to it. But Spicey seems to disagree and I am unable to convince her. She tells me that surveillance does not give her […]

Puppy surveillance


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Haircuts are expensive in the US.  The shops near the university charge 16 USD each time – that’s almost half a month’s rent I paid in Delhi!  But I guess with some looking around, there’s always a way out.  I found a way to have a four dollar haircut. A hairstyling school near the university needs volunteers for their students to do some hands on training, and they offer haircuts at one-fourth the normal price.  After the students work on you, the teacher comes to give the finishing touch and I was told that the overall experience is satisfactory.  Last […]

Four Dollar Hair-cut


There are at least two movies made of Charlotte Bronte’s famous novel Jane Eyre. I decided to watch the more modern version first directed by Dilbert Mann. Being based on a powerful story as Jane Eyre, it had to be good. The movie was a constant reminder of what a difficult task it is to convert a rich book or a rich life into a movie for it was in brief episodes that were linked, but not seamlessly. While I enjoyed the movie immensely, I wished that the music were more subtle. A story as beautiful as that could have […]

Two Movies made of Bronte’s Jane Eyre: A Comparision



Pride and Prejudice Writer: Jane Austen Producer: BBC Length: 300 minutes Rating: 5 out of 5 Have been watching BBCs version of pride and prejudice – a stunning drama. The series inherits a good story by Jane Austen, and so is made of very good material. The good news is that the director and the actors have done a very good job of it as well. The main character – Elizabeth is beautiful in a quite way and expresses a large range of emotions without ‘expressing’ them – atleast as it would be socially desired. Little winks and twitches of […]

BBC does a good job of Pride and Prejudice by ...


Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement Artist: Cesar Chavez Created: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 Category: Documentary Documentary on grape workers movement – one of the biggest social movements in the history of USA I recently met someone who was involved in the Farm Workers Movement. I was told that it was one of the largest movements in the United States and Cesar Chavez, its charismatic leader was as popular as Martin Luther King at its time. I had to hear that with a certain sense of shame since I had not even heard about the movement till […]

Touching documentary on Farm Workers Movement USA


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The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow Link Created: Fri, 15 Sep 2006 Category: Documentary Producer: PBS One of the best documentaries on the rise and fall of Jim Crow (segregation) laws in USA I have been hearing of Jim Crow laws ever since I came to the US and I decided to check out a documentary on this issue. This four-part series by PBS turns out to be one of the best documentaries on this issue. I have covered just the first part so far that starts from the emancipation and goes till the (in)famous formation of separate-but-equal doctrine […]

Documentary series on Jim Crow America by PBS



Eyes on the prize Link Created: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 Category: Documentary Director: Henry Hampton Eyes on the prize is easily one of the best documentary series ever made. It covers the civil rights movement in USA from 1954 to 1965. Black war Veterans returned from fighting in Europe and other continents for ‘freedom’ and democracy to return home to Jim Crow America. Reluctant efforts to desegregate a highly divided society only resulted in mobilising a stiff white resistance. Ku Kulx Klan emerged to terrorise and keep the ‘Negros’ in their place. This time around, African Americans respond with a […]

Best documentary on American civil rights movement


If i had a hammar Artist: Pete Seeger Duration: 58 Created: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 Category: Documentary Just saw this documentary that reviews some of the major social movements in the US through songs of Pete Seeger. I had not realised that Pete Seeger was the composer of many hugely popular songs including we shall overcome and if I had a hammer. The documentary is weaved by a presentation by Pete himself who takes us through various important social movements including Trade Union movements in various cities, civil rights movement, far workers movement, feminist movement, peace movement and finally the […]

Documentary on Pete Seeger & social movements


Planning commission forgets children in its approach paper for the eleventh five-year plan   The approach paper for the eleventh plan released by the Planning Commission has forgotten the children under six.  A dream of development that does not include children is a futile dream.  Childhood is the foundation of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of people.  The first six years of life is a period of dramatic growth and development.  Apart from rapid physical and mental growth, children do the difficult task of learning languages, an assortment of physical skills, values and other things required to lead a full […]

Screaming for attention



After ten months of it being stolen, I got my passport back! I lost it in October 2005 along with my pouch and an assortment of materials in it. There was some cash in it but not much. It’s ten months since I lost it, it has miraculously returned. Minus the pouch, a mobile and the cash all else has been returned – and in good condition. The returned items include a few post-it notes I maintained in the pouch, few scrap papers with notes scribbled in them, a pocketbook, a telephone book, old photos, et al. My packet was […]

A responsible thief


Currently the bibliography is primarily around ethnography.  In a few weeks I should be adding texts on other methods including case studies, discourse analysis, etc. I’ve included some reviews in the book review section. My other bibliographies can be seen under the bibliography category. Atkinson, Robert. “Life Story Interviewing.” in Handbook of Interview Research : Context & Method., Edited by Jaber F. Gubrium, James A. Holstein. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2002. Charmaz, Kathy. “Grounded Theory.” in Contemporary Field Research : Perspectives and Formulations., Edited by Robert M. Emerson. 2nd ed. Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, 2001. Dey, Ian. Grounding […]

Bibliography: Qualitative research


This is a reasonably good list of books and articles by my favourite economist – Jean Dreze. These works are ‘academic’ and do not include some of his most interesting works including his diary as a squatter in London, and a set of essays edited by him, Bela Bhatia and Kathy Kelly on the Iraq peace camp. Agarwal, Bina, S. L. Rao, Jean Drèze, Patricia Uberoi, and National Council of Applied Economic Research. The Family in Public Policy : Fallacious Assumptions and Gender Implications. Golden Jubilee Seminar Series. Vol. 9th lecture. New Delhi: National Council of Applied Economic Research, 2000. […]

Books and articles by Jean Dreze: A detailed bibliography (downloadable)



The books and articles here cover many of the key debates on the right to food. I’ve included some reviews in the book review section. My other bibliographies can be seen under the bibliography category. Alston, Philip, and K. Tomaševski. The Right to Food. International Studies in Human Rights. Boston; Utrecht: M. Nijhoff; Stichting Studie- en Informatiecentrum Mensenrechten, 1984. Boerma, Addeke Hendrik, and Colin Mackenzie. A Right to Food : A Selection from Speeches. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1976. Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. Substantive Issues Arising in the Implementation of the International […]

Bibliography: Right to food (downloadable)


This is a small but growing list on social movements. I’ve included some reviews in the book review section. My other bibliographies can be seen under the bibliography category. Eyerman, Ron, and Andrew Jamison. Music and Social Movements : Mobilizing Traditions in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge Cultural Social Studies. Cambridge, England ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. French, John D. Drowning in Laws : Labor Law and Brazilian Political Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004, http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip0411/2003025753.html; http://www.loc.gov/catdir/description/unc041/2003025753.html. ———. The Brazilian Workers’ ABC : Class Conflict and Alliances in Modern São Paulo. Chapel Hill: University of North […]

Bibliography: Social Movements (downloadable)


The reading list started with a course I did with Chandra Mohanty at Syracuse University.  Consequently, most of these are of transnational feminist perspective.  I am working on a fuller list now, and will be updating it in the months to come. I’ve included some reviews in the book review section. My other bibliographies can be seen under the bibliography category. Bhattacharjee, Anannya. “Private Fists and Public Force: Race, Gender, and Surveillance.” in Policing the National Body : Sex, Race and Criminalization ; a Project of the Committee on Women, Population, and the Environment., Edited by Jael Silliman, Anannya Bhattacharjee […]

Bibliography: Transnational Feminism (downloadable)



This is an evolving collection of books and articles that approach hunger from different perspectives.  As of now, it contains some interesting approaches from economic, cultural, geographical, anthropological, gender and other perspectives.  There are a few on hunger in developed countries, specially USA.   Agarwal, Bina, S. L. Rao, Jean Drèze, Patricia Uberoi, and National Council of Applied Economic Research. The Family in Public Policy : Fallacious Assumptions and Gender Implications. Golden Jubilee Seminar Series. Vol. 9th lecture. New Delhi: National Council of Applied Economic Research, 2000. America’s Second Harvest. “Hunger in America 2001.” (2001). Ann Nichols-Casebolt. “Making Ends Meet: Food […]

Bibliography on Hunger (downloadable)


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In this note I have tried to put together some lessons that I learned from the Right to Food Campaign. I have drawn these notes from the activities of the campaign, the discussions we have had, the materials we have prepared for the public interest litigation and for the campaign. The campaign deals with questions that are similar to what we are going to deal with in the seminar viz. ensuring a hunger free India. I have drawn extensively on the materials we have prepared in the campaign, and specially on discussions with the ‘support group’. I would like to […]

Notes from the Right to Food Campaign