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

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A Shot in the Arm

Does a mandatory vaccination policy, as a social welfare measure, impinge on personal liberty?

End of the Postcolonial State

Much of the scholarship on Bangladesh’s founding places it within a narrative of repetition. It either repeats the partitions of 1905 or 1947 or the creation of India and Pakistan as postcolonial states. This paper argues instead for the novelty of Bangladesh’s creation against the postcolonial state, suggesting that it opened up a new history at the global level in which decolonisation was replaced by civil war as the founding narrative for new states.

Beyond the Break with the Past

In the 1940s, Bengali Muslim intellectuals sought to find a new autonomy in a comprehensive break with the texts and language of the Hindu-dominated literature of the “Bengal Renaissance.” But within a few years of Pakistan’s founding, a new generation argued that disavowing the past was not...

Collision amid Collusion and Cooperation

This paper examines the history of largely understudied women’s rights activists in the early years of East Pakistan. While they collided with West Pakistani activists—and the central state—on matters of culture, identity, and political and economic issues, they actively cooperated with West Pakistani counterparts to fight gender discrimination and to demand reform in women’s rights from the state.

Dhaka 1969

A reading of 1969, the momentous year of protests against Ayub Khan’s dictatorship in East Pakistan is offered, going beyond the popular tropes of inevitability and loss. The moments when Bengali nationalism exceeded its own expectations by making michhil or procession its main focus are identified. A rumination on Dhaka, which found its present cultural and political identity through the upheaval of the 1960s is presented.

Independence, Freedom, Liberation

The idea of swadhinata (which translates as both freedom and independence), along with a novel conception of liberation (mukti), animated the founding discourse of Bangladesh in 1971. This paper explores how these ideas, and their longer histories, jostled together to shape the promise of Bangladesh’s founding. It also reflects on how the conflictual promise of 1971 underwrote the political history of post-independence Bangladesh.

Do Normative Values Need an Address?

Certain questions that arguably involve the denial of access both by the state and socially hostile society to basic human needs and natural rights, such as freedom, warrant both articulation and amelioration. If spiritual goods such as freedom, which are essential for human flourishing, and...

Academic Administration and Academic Freedom

Programmatic freedom of faculty and researchers is fundamental to creation of knowledge, as everything has to be open to question and scepticism. The universities and academic institutions are established as autonomous institutions to ensure academic freedom. However, it is observed that the autonomy of academic institutions tends to result in centralisation of power in the hands of institutional heads, and is misappropriated to curtail programmatic autonomy of individual academics. The recent penal measures taken against some faculty members of the Kerala Agricultural University are analysed against this backdrop.

Explaining Cross-Country Variation in Income Inequality

Most earlier studies exploring the cross-ountry variation in the degree of income inequality (measured by Gini ratio) are valuable but for the inappropriate data on inequality comprising estimates of Gini from incomparable data sets such as national and sub-ational surveys, per person and per household income distributions, and income and expenditure distributions. This paper explores the cross-ountry variation in income inequality based on relatively more comparable data and suggests that public policy aimed at reducing inequality and freedom may be the key variables that explain the variation in the Gini across countries. Prospects for launching national policy initiatives to reduce inequalities are rather dim since globalisation could be conveniently used to rationalise a relatively high level of income inequality.

Mutilated Liberty and the Constitution

Without liberty there cannot be democracy and Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees that right to all citizens. In order that the state can regulate the individual's freedom in the greater interest of society a number of restrictions have been placed on these rights. However the restrictions have become so numerous today that the balance has tilted towards social control rather than liberty.

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