ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India's Population Programme

As sterilisation scandals abound, a consensus is emerging for a shift away from sterilisation towards a larger "basket" of contraceptive choices and concomitant improvements in service delivery. That such a shift needs to take place is clear, but precisely how it is to come about, and who gets to determine what is in the basket of choices are questions that deserve greater attention. The neo-Malthusian resurgence, combined with the technical fixation on contraception, favours certain methods over others, but health and safety concerns related to these methods are typically downplayed or suppressed.

Draft National Health Policy 2015

This paper contributes to the debate on the Draft National Health Policy 2015 by analysing and critiquing some of its key recommendations within the prevailing social, economic, and political context of the country. This policy seems to suggest that strategic purchasing of curative health services from both the public and private sectors can enable India to achieve the goal of "universal healthcare." The draft policy is based on two assumptions. One, policy interventions since the National Health Policy 2002 have been largely successful and two, there is harmony of purpose between public and private healthcare delivery systems which allows the private sector to be used for achieving public health goals. This article argues that these assumptions are flawed, highlights the various contradictions in the policy and cautions against over-optimism on publicly-financed health insurance schemes.

Fighting and Living with Cancer

The Price of Experience: Writings on Living with Cancer by Mike Marqusee (London: OR Books), 2014; pp 106, $13, paperback.

Solidarity with Gaza

The world is once again witness to the macabre dance of death in Gaza unleashed by the Israeli aggressors, and once again the news of scores of innocent Palestinian deaths, including those of a number of women and children, is flooding in.

Fact Finding Report: Independent Inquiry into Muzaffarnagar "Riots"

A team of independent academics and a journalist carried out an inquiry into the communal violence that shook Muzaffarnagar district in UP this past September. The report (as a PDF) is based on the findings of the team during its visit to Muzaffarnagar district on the 9 and 10 November and again on 27 November. 

Boycott Collaboration with Israeli Academic Institutions

We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in June 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

Use of 'Foeticide'

We write to express our surprise, indeed dismay, at the use of the word foeticide in your editorial "Life-giving Leadership" (EPW, 23 June 2012).

Why All Non-Altruistic Surrogacy Should Be Banned

The growth of reproductive tourism in India is justifi ed as a win-win situation: women from abroad, desperate to bear biological babies, can now do so while the Indian women surrogates earn money. The bill of the Government of India to regulate this booming market was drafted at the behest of the very industry it seeks to regulate, and is meant not so much to offer protection to the women surrogates but to the industry. This article suggests that we recognise this business as exploitative and involving the appropriation of surplus labour, albeit with some special characteristics, and as a result, evoke a different set of policy implications.

On Saffron Demography

Beginning as early as 1909 when the book Hindus: A Dying Race helped Hindu communalists knit antagonistic castes together by creating anxiety about Muslims, saffron demography has sought to whip up fears of a very high rate of Muslim population growth. That this kind of "demography" suffers from serious methodological, philosophical and empirical problems does not deter its practitioners from declaring a "demographic war" and enjoining Hindus not to go in for planned parenthood.

The Shadow of Hyde

There has been a great deal of discussion about the Hyde Act in regard to nuclear issues. What is not often enough stated is that there also exists something called the Hyde amendment that has already affected US policies for a number of years.

The Privatisation Fetish

NHS-PLC: The Privatisation of Our Healthcare by Allyson M Pollock; Verso, London, 2004;
MOHAN RAO This is an extraordinary book, written with commitment and occasional passion, but at all times with care for facts. It is carefully written and well argued, and presents us with a narrative difficult to believe: the dismantling of the National Health Services in Britain, the actors involved, their ideologies and the effects on population health. What is difficult to believe is the sheer


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