Yearly Archives: 2008

A report by the Dy. Commissioner, and SP Palamu indicates that police in Palamu is not serious about pursuing Lalit Metha’s murderers One of our colleagues, Lalit Mehta, was brutally murdered  in Palamu, Jharkahand recently.  A sloppy report has prepared by the Deputy Commissioner and the SP, Palamu indicates that the Jharkhand police is either insincere in pursuing the murderers or actively protecting them. Lalit was in the process of organising a survey on NREGA along with Jean Dreze and a band of volunteers. Instead of pursuing the murders, the report casts aspersions on the survey team and even goes […]

Jharkhand police: Enquiry or cover-up in Lalit Mehta’s murder case?

Mozhi Year: 2007 Writer: Radha Mohan Director: Radha Mohan Length: 152 Category: Drama Rating: 4 out of 5 Entertainment with purpose – to the hilt Mozhi is one of the finest Tamil movies to come in this decade. It’s worth watching, and watching again. Karthik (played by Prithviraj) falls in love with Archana (Jyothika) by just seeing her in action. He learns soon that she is hearing and speech disabled. In a bid to win her love, he accosts her. As they become friends he grows to admire her for growing beyond her disabilities into a confident person. A rift […]

Mozhi with Jyothika: Fantastic Tamil movie

Here’s a news item from the Real news network on India’s refusal to sign the cluster bomb treaty along with China, US (not surprisingly), Israel, Russia and Pakistan.What is shocking though is the paltry coverage it got in Indian media for an issue that is clearly important. ToI, NDTV, Zee News, Economic Times, and a few others carried an article straight from Associated Press or other services. Given that India had not signed this treaty, some home work could have been done here – but NOTHING was done. This is true of the highly celebrated Hindu as well. No interviews, […]

India refuses to sign cluster bomb treaty & we know ...

Eisenhover in a memorable speech talked of the danger of the military industrial complex.  His warning has sadly been borne out time and again in the decades following the speech. In this context calculations of gain overwhelm concerns for morality in foreign policy.  Thankfully, the same decades have also seen an appreciable growth of people’s voices for peace.  This movement has made remarkable use of media to covey its message; this song by Jayashree is a good example of such efforts. Set in the tune of the Sinhalese song “Surangani” that took India by storm, “American war par da” is […]

American war par da song by Jayashree

In one of the worst cases of attack on an NREGA activist, Lalit Kumar was murdered this week in Palamu Right from the word go combating corruption in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) has been a major agenda of activists of the Right to Food Campaign. Needless to say, it brings activists into conflict with the vested interests that are deeply rooted in India today. This week in Palamu, a young and committed activist – Lalit Kumar – was murdered, perhaps a result of his actions to secure the poorest of people their rights. I am reproducing an […]

Murder of Lalit Kumar, NREGA activist in Palamu, Jharkhand

A growing collection of Ambedkar’s works are available online at Ambedkar is easily one of the finest Indian thinkers ever. Academically, he has a degree in law, a Masters in economics (from London School of Economics), and a doctorate in social sciences (from Columbia University). At Columbia he majored in sociology and economics for his M.A. with a smattering of anthropology, politics and philosophy as other subjects. He also had a stint at University of Bonn. His experience ranges from being a untouchable boy to the principal architect of India’s Constitution. He started and ran a political party and […]

Babasaheb Ambedkar’s works online: Books, articles, talks

Creating neat bibliographies can be a pain, Word 2007 makes it easy Note: There is an easier way to cite in MS Word and it’s free.  Check out my note on Zotero citation tool. There are hundreds of formats for citations like Chicago, APA, etc.  The only thing in common between them is that each of them is a nightmare!  I cannot imagine how people did extensive citations before the coming of automated help.  I am a big fan of refworks, endnote and other bibliography managers.  Unfortunately, these are costly and cannot be afforded by everyone.  For those who did […]

Citations using Word 2007: Bibliographies made easy

O India produz mais filmes que todos outros país do mundo… …Muito mais. Tal vez tu sei que há muitas linguas na India. Muitos disso tem um grande indústria do cinema. O muito famoso é o indústria do Bombay chamo “Bollywood”. Muitos estrangeiros pensem que só Bollywood produz filmes na India; mas ha muitos outros centros do produção. O grande centro é Madras no sul do India. Também há Hyderabad, Calcutta, Kerala e outros centros. Tal vez, o filmes do Bengal são o mais famoso depois que o Bollywood. Begal é famoso para produzir os filmes artísticas e seu director […]

Introdução aos cinema Indiano

A Panchayat president I interviewed recently told me sweetly that people listen to her because she’s plump.  Two years and twenty additional kilos earlier, I would have missed the import of the statement, but now I don’t.  Let me give you a quick background before I start. I was very thin and was often called a skeleton, stick of a coconut leaf and other colourful adjectives. I left to the US in 2005 and after two years of Americanisation I got on the weighing machine. I pushed the scales to a familiar position and it remained upright.  I nudged it […]

The importance of a pot belly

Thanks to a Historian, I now see the sublime where I merely saw superstitions The district gazetteers provide a good background to the important events of a district in a historical perspective.  They were originally written by British civil servants and was then taken over by people appointed for the task with India’s independence.  The British “manuals” (as they are often called) offer colourful details about the wars, positions taken by various parties, etc.  The post independence gazettes (at least in the Madras Province) have a greater slant towards understanding development in a historical perspective.  I was going through some […]

A Brahmin historian at work

For an introduction to Refworks click here. If you have used it earlier, read on… A few months ago when Refworks announced that they are going offline, I was excited. I am doing my field work in rural India and had decided not to take full time internet access. I started regretting not having Endnote; I need not do that anymore. Refworks’ new Write-N- Cite III makes available most of the important features offline. The new Write-N-Cite III has an offline database that downloads all references from our online database to an offline location. This enables us to search and […]

Refworks goes offline: Exciting new features

A search engine to search India’s Union budgets and State budgets (available) in one click A wealth of materials is available online today about budgets in India.  Unfortunately they are dispersed across dozens of websites that take time to find.  This search engine will enable to to search official budget websites of Government of India and most state governments in one click.  It is periodically updated. The results are not perfect, but it is the best that I was able to produce given the clutter and the constant changes in the budget websites of various states. Loading

India: Union & State budgets search engine

Search websites of Indian Parliament and most legislative assemblies in one go [inline] [script type=”text/javascript” src=””][/script] [/inline] About the search engine This is a special search engine that searches websites of Indian Parliament, most state assemblies and other government sites that offer content on debates and other proceedings in legislative bodies.  It also includes a few non-governmental sites.  It enables us to check if something is going on relating to a specific issue (e.g. VAT) in various assemblies in one click.  Google is not very useful in doing this since it would cover all websites that include “VAT” in its […]

India: Parliament & Legislative Assemblies search engine

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.” – John Maynard Keynes A unconventional list for the beginner that starts with economic issues than theories I live in a part of the world where economics is considered ‘dry’ and boring. I blame it on the textbooks that are routinely prescribed in initiating beginners into the […]

Economics for beginners: An unconventional list of books, audio, video

School violence is just a petty issue in India so far…we should ensure that it should continue so Two children have been shot dead in schools by their peers within one month.  Brutal school violence of this kind is new in India; it scares me.  Until I went to the US, I did not imagine that schools could be such ghastly places.  I had my first shock came when I learned of metal detectors at a school entrance.  A police officer was stationed in front throughout the school day.  I could not believe it at first.  Children routinely get into […]

Will school shootings guntinue in India: Should media care?