Deepening Democracy - Challenges of Governance and Globalization in India

Deepening Democracy - Challenges of Governance and Globalization in India

Product ID: 14968

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Author: Madhu Purnima Kishwar
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 334
ISBN/UPC (if available): 019565689X


As India prepares to enter an era that promises more wealth, equity, and prosperity to its citizens, this volume brings together essays by noted scholar-activist Madhu Purnima Kishwar on enduring issues such as rights, governance, and the impact of globalization on the average Indian citizen.

The volume covers a range of issues from a glimpse of the License-Permit-Raid Raj as it affects the livelihood of the self-employed poor, to a critique of India's farm and economic policies. It further discusses the new divides being created by the country's language policy to the causes and possible remedies for ethnic conflicts in India.

A common thread running through all essays is how most of India's contemporary problems arise out of malgovernance, the choice of inappropriate policies, and a lack of accountability in government that adversely affects the people of India, depresses their incomes, and makes it difficult for ordinary hard working citizens to earn a simple livelihood without payoffs and suffering numerous humiliations. Kishwar argues that the poor need economic freedom far more urgently than the rich and builds a case for a bottom-up agenda of economic reforms.

Challenging the critics of globalization, the volume demonstrates how, if India participates actively and intelligently in the WTO, this will open far-reaching opportunities for the farm sector as well as its industries.

While acknowledging that the current trade regime is biased in favour of powerful industrialized nations, Kishwar points to entrenched assumptions and positions taken by those she calls the Anti-Globalization Brigade who claim that liberalization and globalization are intrinsically anti-Third World and anti-poor. Written in a lucid and engaging style, this book will draw a wide readership among scholars across disciplines, in addition to activists, journalists, policy-makers, bureaucrats, and the lay reader.
Students and scholars of politics, sociology, anthropology, history, as well as journalists, activists and general readers.


Madhu Kishwar always makes for refreshing reading-style as well as substance. Much damage has been done to Indian economic policy-making by bleeding hearts, one manifestation being what she calls the anti-Globalization Brigade (AGB). The volume argues that without the government’s heavy hand, the lot of the poor would have been better. For those who know about Kishwar’s work on rickshaw-pullers and vendors, and those who don’t, this book makes for compelling reading.
-Bibek Debroy
Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies, New Delhi

One does not have to agree with Madhu Kishwar to recognize that she is one of India’s most independent-minded activist-scholars, unrestrained by political and academic correctness. Her distinctive take on the Indian predicament today revolves around a spirited rejection of the Statism that informs the opposition to globalization among most political formations in India, and a defiant plea to decentralize Indian politics to take advantage of the possibilities that globalization opens up for India’s poor.
-Ashis Nandy
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi




Laws, Liberty, and Livelihood: Economic Warfare against Rickshaw Owners and Pullers

Blackmail, Bribes, and Beatings: Licence-Quota-Raid Raj for Street Vendors

Cutting our Own Lifeline: A Review of India's Farm Policy

Captive People, Free Trade?: Human Rights and National Boundaries

Naukri as Property: Causes and Cures for Corruptions in Government

A Half Step Forward: The Thwarting of Economic Reforms in India

When Nature's Call is a Crime: Breakdown of Conflict Resolution of Mechanisms in India

Symbols of Mental Slavery: Of Toilets, Tubs, and Drains

Destroying Minds and Skills: The Dominance of Angreziyat in our Education

Yours Nationally

Beyond For or Against: Unexplored Complexities of India's Reservation Policy

Marks, Merit, and Competence: Are Reservations Inherently Anti-Efficiency

Majoritarianism vs Minoritarianism: Hindu-Muslim Relations in Post-Independence India

An Agenda for India: The Speech We Deserved to Hear on August 15