The Epidemico of Vigilantism
20 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
In a situation where the secular political leadership has lost a good deal of its credibility and “grassroots vigilantism” is becoming a widespread, veritable epidemic under growing fascism, the judiciary continues to remain a credible instrument for the reassertion of the values that the Constitution associated with a “modern” India.
Deras and Evangelicals
18 September, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Deras, like the Pentecostal Church in the U.S. and elsewhere, are popular because they address the needs and aspirations of those socially excluded by organised religion and economically marginalised by globalisation.
Downturn Blues
18 September, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The most recent deceleration in growth is the result of the inability of the system to sustain the artificial stimuli that the neoliberal policy environment facilitated. It is a problem that does not lend itself to easy resolution.
Peasant Struggles in Shekhawati in the Early Twentieth Century
13 September, 2017, Vikas Rawal
The article is highly relevant to the ongoing peasant struggle in Rajasthan (Sikar) today. It examines the historical evidence that shows that the emergence of economically and politically dominant landlords from among Jat, and to a smaller extent Brahmin, castes in Shekhawati is a relatively recent phenomenon. Peasant struggles in Shekhawati in the first half of the twentieth century brought an end to the shackles of the Jagirdari system, which fundamentally changed the structure of control over land with tenants-at-will getting ownership rights over land.
Sanitation workers in India
08 September, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The deeply entrenched casteist approach to manual scavenging is part of public policy and explains why the practice continues unabated and why the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in effect relies on it.
America's Turn Towards Fascism and Its Contradictions
04 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
While the turn of the U.S. towards fascism is unmistakable, the contradictions associated with this turn, and the complexity of the process of formation of the partnership between big business and fascist upstarts within the framework of a non-fascist bourgeois State to start with, are also clearly visible.
The Truth About Demonetization
01 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The recent RBI report that shows that 99% of the demonetized currency notes have been returned proves false the governments’ claim that the scheme, that shook the whole economy, would cripple the black economy, an argument whose success lay in the demonetized currency not coming back to the system. Moreover, with re-monetization complete, there has been no “flushing out” of black money whatsoever.
The Economy: 70 years after Independence
30 August, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
Indias' reliance on fortuitous and volatile stimuli to drive growth has resulted in inadequate job creation and widened inequalities while failing to address social deprivation.
150 years of 'Das Kapital': How relevant is Marx today?
24 August, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
After 150 years of ‘Das Kapital’, the seminal work of the 19th century economist still provides a framework for understanding contemporary capitalism. The unique social relations such as “free labour” and “commodity fetishism”, that according to Marx, define capital, are reflected in the uneven and unstable development of the world market.
A Dangerous Analogy
24 August, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Democracy in India faces a severe threat from the penchant for centralization and uniformity that the Hindutva forces have and which Modi articulated in the Central Hall on July 1 through his misleading analogy between the GST and the integration of princely states by Vallabhbhai Patel during Independence. Such comparison puts a tax reform and democratic revolution on the same platform, confusing biased centralization with unity of the country.
Economy Plunging Headlong into Recession
16 August, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The few days old Volume II of the Economic Survey by Ministry of Finance shows a GVA growth rate much less than that of the previous year, and that too artificially boosted by seasonal variations in non-core sectors. This deceleration is most likely to continue, with growing NPAs and plunging exports, and interest rate cuts will not help in a demand-constrained economy unless the government starts thinking beyond “fiscal rectitude”.
Financing Education
08 August, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The central governments’ Draft National Education Policy promotes privatization of education to meet its target, which is not only logically absurd but also legitimizes inequality. Solutions like student loans are impractical with educated unemployment, and fee subsidies turn counterproductive. The one efficient way is to extract the private funds through progressive direct tax, but that seems impossible in this neo-liberal era.
Twenty Years After The Asian Financial Crisis
07 August, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
It was the free flow of foreign capital through “financial liberalization” that led to the East Asian Crisis of 1997, from which the “tiger economies” have not yet recovered fully. Even now, the augmented foreign reserves of these third world countries remain woefully inadequate to finance debt to foreigners, as the hegemony of international finance capital builds over their own assets.
NPAs: All talk and no action
04 August, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The problem of large NPAs of nationalised banks can be traced to the neoliberal reforms in the financial sector and outside, which prevent large government investments in infrastructure and capital-intensive industries that are imperative for development but too difficult a responsibility for the private sector to shoulder.
Progressive mobilization in Europe
20 July, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The G20 summit in Hamburg was an occasion for public affirmations of the continued power of progressive ideas and calls for action around issues that really matter, in the form of an alternative summit, performance art demonstrations, and marches.
The Hamburg Fiasco
19 July, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
There is no sign of any consensus coming out of the G20 on the need for a mix of globally coordinated policies and a fiscal push to pull the world economy out of recession. What we have once again is a set of statements that says everything and therefore nothing.
Three Deaths
19 July, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Prabhat Patnaik mourns the deaths of three of his close friends, all brilliant people: Arup Mullick, Basudev Chatterji, and Nirupam Sen, whose outstanding character and intellectual genius will be greatly missed.
Justice in the Age of Finance
07 July, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The very limited Barclays prosecution comes in the wake of a half-hearted investigation effort, which has thus far completely let off all those who took the world economy to the verge of a crisis akin to the Great Depression. It is not clear if anything will finally come out of even this case, which is aimed at merely teaching a lesson to those who hurt a bunch of financial investors by violating insider rules.
The Macroeconomics of Basic Income Grants
07 July, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The idea of “Universal Basic Income”, today treated as novel, in fact dates back to Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Thomas Mores’ Utopia in the 16th century. Milton Friedman's “negative income tax” also revolved around the same idea, which was rightfully criticized by Minsky for inducing inflationary expansion in place of direct welfare schemes. Considering distributional effects, direct job creation is a more effective way to tackle poverty.
The Rights of the Child and the G20 Summit
03 July, 2017, Sir Richard Jolly & Gabriele Kohler
Fresh research from UNICEF shows that the number of children in poverty, in rich countries has increased as a result of austerity policies. An average of one in five children in 41 high income countries lives in poverty. Children and their rights do not even seem to feature in the G20 manifesto, even as it stresses the ending of austerity policies and encouraging public budgets that promote development and poverty eradication.
The Roots of the Agrarian Distress In India
29 June, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar
The policy shifts of the reform era have not been in favor of agriculture. Trade liberalisation, deregulation and a greater role for market forces have not benefited the farmer, who is trapped in a persisting crisis. It is time for today's policy makers to recognise their own disconnect, and learn from the evidence at hand.
Computer outages
22 June, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
While our dependency and vulnerability towards computers is becoming almost universal, the false resilience and reliability of the cyberspace is being exposed through recent system breakdowns caused due to extremely minor human errors and absence of adequate backup. In these days of cost cutting, CEOs and governments see cyber maintenance as a luxury, which itself has become a reason for its fragility.
Development for Whom?
22 June, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
Calls for a new development paradigm grow louder each day, especially in rapidly growing countries like India. Award-winning development economist Jayati Ghosh explores prospects for such a new model of equitable and sustainable development with Allen White, Senior Fellow at the Tellus Institute.
Imperialism Still Alive and Kicking: An Interview With Prabhat Patnaik
20 June, 2017,
Imperialism is the arrangement that the capitalist system sets up for imposing income deflation on the working population of the third world for countering the threat of inflation that would otherwise erode the value of money in the metropolis and make the system unviable. A delinking from globalization by an alternative State, based on a worker-peasant alliance, is required for improved living conditions of the third world working population.
The Economy under Modi
20 June, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
As per official data, half of the country’s population witnessed no improvement in real per capita income over the three Modi years. Other indicators like the demand from net exports, Central Government expenditure (as a proportion of nominal GDP) and number of new jobs created in the organized sector, all reflect a gloomy picture of the Indian economy. The government has been keen on keeping finance capital happy while compromising on these matters.

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