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

PunjabSubscribe to Punjab

Citizenship and Women’s Agency

Gendered Citizenship: Understanding Gendered Violence in Democratic India by Natasha Behl, New York: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp xi + 172, price not indicated.

Agrarian Crisis and Agricultural Labourer Suicides in Punjab

Punjab’s economy is engulfed in a serious agrarian crisis. The capitalisation of agricultural production processes has squeezed employment opportunities and wage rates in the farm sector. The agrarian crisis in the state has pushed the agricultural labourers towards low earnings and debt traps, which have led them towards death by suicide. Based on a door-to-door and village-to-village survey of 2,400 villages falling in the jurisdiction of six districts of Punjab, the present study reveals that 7,303 agricultural labourers died by suicide in the state during 2000–18. The financial compensation, debt waiver, provision of healthcare and education of victim families along with safeguarding of legal entitlements regarding wage enhancements and land rights, and agro-industrialisation are main policy measures for addressing the act of suicide by agricultural labourers.

Diabetes Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies

Awareness about risk factors is a prerequisite for the prevention of diabetes mellitus amongst diabetic patients. A questionnaire-based survey of diabetic patients adapted from “WHO-STEPS Surveillance” was performed during 2018 in Punjab, using descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression. The overall awareness level was found to be 83%, but perception and comprehension regarding risk factors and prevention strategies are still at a nascent stage. There is need for innovative awareness programmes and government campaigns on the consequences of lifestyle modification, sedentary lifestyle, and altering epidemiology of diabetes.

Punjab Agriculture

Punjab’s economy, including its agriculture, has been in crisis for some time on various fronts. But the pandemic provided an opportunity to the state government to set up an expert committee to suggest measures for rolling out a medium- and long-term strategy for the revival of the state economy. This article provides critical commentary on the various recommendations of the committee to deal with the agrarian crisis and presents an alternative perspective.

Land Acquisition in Punjab

Analysing a case of development-induced displacement through a survey of land dispossession in Punjab reveals how displacement for development projects adversely affects farmers economically, socially and culturally. Fertile land acquired for a thermal power plant remains unused, depriving villagers of their livelihoods as well as the benefits that could have accrued had the project materialised. Large-scale land acquisition for the establishment of thermal power plants causes irreversible changes in the lives of local communities that are deprived of their source of livelihood by land acquisition and also gives rise to other social, economic, political and ecological changes. To avert the crisis resulting from the acquisition of agricultural land for developmental purposes, “long-term livelihood opportunities” for dispossessed farmers should be rebuilt, as compensation acts as wealth, and not income, for agrarian societies.

Impact of Climate Change on the Productivity of Rice and Wheat Crops in Punjab

The seasonal trends in climate variables and their impact on rice and wheat yields in Punjab are assessed using daily data of temperature and rainfall by district from 1986 to 2015. A significant rise in mean temperature is observed in both the rice- and wheat-growing periods. Rainfall during the rice-growing period has decreased 7% annually over the past 30 years. Significant climate change will lower the rice yield by 8.10% by 2080 and wheat by 6.51%. To mitigate the effects of climate change, it is necessary to adopt climate-resilient crop choices and irrigation practices and technologies.

A Blasphemy Law is Antithetical to India's Secular Ethos

Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which is an Indian variant of the blasphemy law, violates the secular character of Constitution.

An Outlier in the North

The most significant development of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Punjab was the victory of the Congress, making the state an outlier in almost all of India, except for Kerala. Neither the Bharatiya Janata Party’s narrative of national security nor its strong leader could find much traction in the state. The significant loss of the core social constituency’s (read the Sikhs) support of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the decline or almost decimation of the Aam Aadmi Party were important developments of this election.

Tumultuous Journey of the University of the Punjab

The first three Indian universities—at Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras—were set up in 1857, inaugurating the Indian higher education system. The University of the Punjab was the fourth Indian university, which was set up at Lahore, the capital of undivided Punjab, in 1882. After India’s partition in 1947, this was the only Indian university that was split up into two. One part continued at Lahore while the other shifted to a new campus in Chandigarh. The story of this journey of the university through the tumultuous years of partition is both fascinating and painful.

Confronting Gender Discrimination in Punjab

The 2011 Census revealed the welcome fact that both the child sex ratio and the overall sex ratio in Punjab had improved considerably over the previous census data. However, subsequent rounds of National Family Health Survey data show that gender bias against the girl child in terms of health coverage and nutrition is not only higher than in the developed states but also the poorer ones. The central and state governments need to take note of this aspect in policymaking.

Indebtedness among Farmers and Agricultural Labourers in Rural Punjab

The paper examines various hitherto unexplored aspects of indebtedness among farmers and agricultural labour households in rural Punjab. It analyses the extent and distribution of indebtedness among farmers and agricultural labourers, their sources of debt and the per household debt incurred for various purposes. The paper also compares and contrasts variations in the rate of interest paid by different categories of farmers and agricultural labourers.

Demographic Dynamism of Punjab, 1971–2011

Three aspects of population—vital rates, population growth, and population composition—have played a key role in the demographic dynamism of Punjab since 1971. Population mobility shows a distinct pattern: outmigration and emigration from the state, and a simultaneous inflow of labour, chiefly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, leading to notable rise in Scheduled Caste population, and also a moderate increase in the share of Hindu and Muslim population.

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