/ Vol 1 Issue 2

JOURNAL OF PEOPLE’S STUDIES - Volume 1, Issue 2

Issue Details

Journal of People’s Studies
ISSN 2455-3115 (Online)

Volume 1, Issue 2
A QUARTERLY JOURNAL
© Journal of People’s Studies, November 2015

LIST OF CONTENTS

Theme Articles

  • Changing Concepts Of Dependency: The Concept Of Development As A Political Strategy In The Mission For Global Capitalism - Diana van Vugt
  • Without Justice And Security, Development is a Lie - Felix Padel
  • Caste Dynamics, Resource Politics And Social Justice: A Critical Epistemology - Goldy M. George

Special Articles

  • Impacts of Terrorism-Related Violence On Pakistan And Its Youth - Zahid Shahab Ahmed & Khan Zeb

Document

  • Not So Holy - Arjun Prasad
  • An Obituary To Dr. B D Sharma: One Who Redefined The Rights of the Marginalised - Goldy M. George

 

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The Editorial

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Development is the essence of any nation. It is not a mere concept or a standalone philosophy divorced from the socio-economic and political factors of any given context. In most of the cases, discussion around development is reduced to a mere objective political agenda or at the best a topic to be discussed during policy discourses. There is hardly any subjective outlook from the viewpoint of justice, freedom, equality and human rights. Development of a citizenry is not possible till the issue of social justice is addressed alongside.

Social justice is a complex web of interconnected and interdependent aspects which need to be taken into account and worked to evolve a development agenda based on justice and peace. In such a context development and social justice delve deep into the shared obligation to understand and deliver freedom, liberty, human rights, dignity both as collective and individuals. For a truly just and peace loving society, it is imperative that issues concerning the most marginalised groups are given priority. 

Cynthia Stephen

Diana van Vugt

Nitin Kamble

Goldy M. George

Section 1 - Theme Articles

Changing Concepts Of Dependency: The Concept Of Development As A Political Strategy In The Mission For Global Capitalism

Together with humanitarianism and human rights, development forms the conceptual heart of the post-colonial world order, which revolves around the values of egalitarianism and compassion. Compassion unites mankind under the same egalitarian and universalist post religious morality. However, at a closer view, the politics of compassion harbour a set of arguments that legitimises post-colonial interventionism: 'just wars' to replace dictatorship by democracy, humanitarian intervention to halt excessive human rights violations and sustainable development programmes to promote general welfare and well-being.

This paper investigates the concept of development as a strategy to pursue the political interests of economically strong international stakeholders, as represented by the global economic institutions; the World Trade Organisation, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Because the World Bank has manifested itself most prominently as a global development agency, the emphasis will be on the study of the Bank's Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF). Comprehensive development should be viewed in contrast with the Bank's former 'narrow' economic concept of development. In accordance with the popularity of the discourse of compassion, the World Bank's development ideology has become a wholistic amalgam of policy goals related to human welfare and well-being. 

Generally, World Bank development projects are concerned with the privatisation of those services, welfare and well-being oriented sectors. It will thus be argued that the comprehensiveness of the World Bank's development concept should be seen in the light of the Bank's neo-liberal premise of a global, privatised and liberalised market economy, while weakening the influence of the state and public sector.

Diana van Vugt

The author holds a Masters in Law (LLM) from the University of Helsinki, Finland and works as a legal assistant at the Dutch Council for Refugees, specialising in family reunification. She is one of the Editors of Journal of Peoples Studies

Keywords: Development, Human Rights, Power Politics, International Organisations, World Bank, Comprehensive Development Framework.

WITHOUT JUSTICE AND SECURITY, DEVELOPMENT IS A LIE

People’s food, water and livelihood/work security is rapidly being undermined by accelerating takeovers of land, as well as dismantling of laws that protected workers’ rights, and a mass informalisation of labour. Against this trend, employment in security firms and security forces may be rising, but whose security do these protect? Abuses by security forces are rarely punished, and perpetrators re-offend with impunity. Massed security forces are not only attacking Maoists, but are used to force through ‘development projects’ that do not have local people’s consent, enforcing their dispossession with violence, and devastating the ecosystems. The communities have lived in basic symbiosis with for generations.

Many so-called ‘development projects’ are destroying much more than any benefits they bring, marshaling natural resources into short-term profits for a small elite, while devastating ecosystems that future generations depend on. What would real development look like? What is equality before the law for rich and poor? How could one learn to share the earth’s resources fairly? How could one learn the skills of Non-Violent Communication to prevent conflicts, instead of gobbling up these depleting resources in escalating wars? To develop to a stage of ‘democratic civilisation’ we will have to search radically new structures of power and authority, and an economic system in harmony with our ecological realities.

The principle of local control over resources does not just empower communities; it is also a safeguard for future generations. Can we learn to share rather than to hoard and compete, learn indigenous processes of law as reconciliation; learn self-entertainment, rather than passive forms of being entertained by ‘stars’? This paper engages with some of these critical aspects.

Felix Padel

The author is a London-born anthropologist activist currently a visting professor at the NE India Study Programme in the School of Social Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has authored and co-authored several books on tribal, mining and environmental issues.

Keywords: Development, Justice, Tribals, Security, Conflict, Adivasi Alternatives

CASTE DYNAMICS, RESOURCE POLITICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: A CRITICAL EPISTEMOLOGY

Caste dynamics from the perspective of ex-untouchables has been theoretically revolved around the notions of purity of blood, creation and sustenance of hierarchies, excommunication and exercise of power based on the social construct of higher beings. While these core aspects have remain intact of caste as a mechanism, the operational part of investigating the material and spiritual components from the perspective of the oppressed groups have got seldom attention in the academia.

Ambedkar dream project to annihilate caste from the surface through redistribution of resources did not materialise. Ambedkar’s clarion call of equality, liberty and fraternity through the establishment of social and political democracy has stuck with in the debates around reservation alone. In a neoliberal economy, the question of reservation has further been entangled in the access to space within educational institutions, employment and political spheres, while on the other end large chunk of land has been transferred into the hands of industrial houses without even settling the question of large scale landlessness. While the first part is extremely essential, the scope for upward mobility of the community as a whole gets limited. The second one gives better scope but has not been addressed despite the existence of laws like Land Ceiling Act and provisions for redistribution. This paper delves deep into the dynamics of caste, resource politics and the dichotomy of justice from the margins.

Goldy M. George

This paper is an elaborate version of a public talk delivered on September 12, 2015 at National Institute of Social Work and Social Sciences (NISWASS), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

The author holds a PhD in Social Science from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He has been an activist for the past 26 years on Dalit and Adivasi rights. Currently he is the Chief Editor of the Journal of People's Studies

Keywords: Caste Dynamics, Social Power, Knowledge, Resource Politics, Social Justice, Epistemology

Section 2 - Special Articles

IMPACTS OF TERRORISM-RELATED VIOLENCE ON PAKISTAN AND ITS YOUTH

Since its independence from the British in 1947, Pakistan has been facing several internal and external security challenges, for example the conflict with India, insurgency in East Pakistan etc. A combination of such challenges led to its disintegration in 1971 when Pakistan’s eastern part became Bangladesh. The country’s direct involvement in the Afghan-Soviet War is a major reason of contemporary security troubles, such as terrorism and religious extremism. Nonetheless, a major wave of terrorism surfaced after 2002. Since then, terrorist attacks have indiscriminately targeted places like market places, hotels, religious and social gatherings, schools, religious places (mosques, churches, temples), public venues etc. This wave of terrorism has also directly affected the lives of religious minorities in Pakistan. As this trend has continued for well over a decade, it is timely to access the impacts of terrorism on the country and the future generation – youth. This paper explores impacts of terrorism on Pakistan and its youth

Zahid Shahab Ahmed

Assistant Professor at Centre for International Peace & Stability (CIPS), National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.

Khan Zeb

PhD candidate at Centre for International Peace & Stability (CIPS), National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan

Keywords: Terrorism, Youth, religious minorities, trauma, Brain drain

Section 3 - Documents

NOT SO HOLY

The TV news just started. The big story read ‘Police fires teargas shells to disperse protesters who were demonstrating against the Israeli attack on Gaza in Jammu & Kashmir.

‘Oh, Lord!’ exclaimed Maria, what is happening in Gaza? I do not know anything about the issue, even though this problem has been continuing for a while. Who is right and how can this sort of conflict be prolonged in this manner…..who ever be right how the killing of innocent people can be justified’.

Anirudh sitting opposite to Maria heard what she said and replied that before taking sides she should primarily be aware of what the background of this conflict was. Anirudh gave her a book titled ‘NOT SO HOLY’ by a well-known academician Arun Choudary.

In fact Maria was not ready to read the book as she had lots of work to do and her semester examination timetable was out. Reluctantly, she took the book and turned the pages. The quote on the first page struck Maria. It was as follows.

            Whether the blood is one’s own or of others

            It is the blood of Adam’s race

            Whether the war rages in east  or west

            It is the blood of the peace of

            The world

                        -Sahir Ludhiyanan

 Maria’s curiosity to read it brewed. She began to open the pages, read every line it told her.

Arjun Prasad

The author is a second year student of MA in Developmental Policy Planning and Practice at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tuljapur, Maharashtra. India

AN OBITUARY TO DR B D SHARMA

Dr. Brahma Dev Sharma (known to many of us as Dr Sahab), left passed away on December 6 2015 in Gwalior. He was not keeping well for some time and was being looked after by his son and daughter-in-law. Sharma was an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who began his administrative career as the Collector of Bastar and retired as the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in 1991. For the next thirty years he remained as a mass leader of the Bharat Jan Andolan and influenced many other platforms particularly on the question of development and Adivasi issues. His entire life was committed to the development of Adivasis and had waged many battles, in and out of the government. He fought against the all forms of oppression, repression and suppression of Adivasis, poor and oppressed classes. Sharma played a key part in framing many of the laws that today exist to defend people's rights, including the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA), the Forest Rights Act and numerous policy and executive measures on these issues. He never lost sight of his fundamental belief in the need for people to organise and to fight for a better and just society.

Goldy M. George

The author holds a PhD in Social Science from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He has been an activist for the past 26 years on Dalit and Adivasi rights. Currently he is the Chief Editor of the Journal of People's Studies