Expert Column |

What is Gender? It is equally ‘male’ contrary to popular understanding

The word " gender " is in currency these days! Let us understand what we mean by it. We often hear boys being admonished for crying or girls being chided for climbing a tree or flying a kite because ‘boys do not cry’ or ‘girls do not climb trees or fly kites’.  Interesting these boys and girls had already done what they are not supposed to do – before being told that it is wrong! When the queen of Jhansi fought the British, she becomes mardani – masculine (khub ladi mardani woh to Jhansi...

Expert Column |

Arguments of the Absurd and the Way Forward

Undoubtedly, demonetisation of currencies of certain denomination would not eradicate black economy in the country. The latter does not exist separately and distinctly from the white economy. You buy a house from me for two crore, if you register for one crore, you save on stamp duty and other taxes. I also pay less on various accounts and get one crore as black money in cash. It is difficult for a government agency to catch us when we are transacting. In a few months, I dispose the money off through...

Expert Column |

Demonetisation: A Perception in Perspective

PM Modi’s sudden announcement during the twilight hours of November 8, of banning two prime Indian notes, the Rs 500 and Rs 1000, in daily circulation, has taken the nation by storm.  A step not easy to judge on its face value, with an apparent objective of eradicating black money and a parallel economy is a bold step towards the right cause. However, a few ifs and buts cannot be ignored. The doubts veritably emerge because of the all-pervading, widespread corruption in our daily lives,...

Expert Column # Media |

The Tale of Missing Daughters

The first Indian Census was carried out in 1871 and it had recorded 5.5 million fewer women and girls than men and boys. A century and two decades later, in 1992, Amartya Sen talked about an estimated deficit of 37 million of them drawing attention to the ‘missing women’ of South Asia.It is now affirmed that it is sex-selective abortions that is leading to shortage of baby girls in India.

Expert Column |

Delhi Smog: Problem, Causes and Solution

Everyone is talking about the Delhi smog. People are increasingly becoming concerned about its ill effect on health, work and quality of life. As such, Delhi is one of the worst polluted cities in the world and conditions have worsened because of an add-on of several factors. Smog in Delhi around Diwali festivities is not happening for the first time and as things stand, it will not be the last either. Smog increases hospital admissions and sick days. Major health effects of air pollution associated...

Expert Column |

Work, women and rituals: The Bitter ‘Chauth’

In this age of religious assertion, it has suddenly become important to turn ritualistic – something Hinduism repeatedly fought against. Consumerism and religion, the new adhesive, bind women more than ever. Celebrating abhorrent traditions such as Karwah Chauth, defeats the purpose of incentivizing women's work and their consequent emancipation.

Expert Column |

Culling populism

The inconvenience of being human is enormous. We need lands to cultivate, homes to live, heating and cooling systems, roads and cars, factories and industries, not to mention overflowing coffers. If only our requirements were merely food, water and air, culling would have seemed preposterous and unnecessary – a waste to say the least. Being human, life is not simple. What has been perpetuated for years, aristocrats and kings hunting for sport, devastating firepower abetting the wildlife atrocities...

Expert Column |

ASI’s harebrained solar panel initiative

In a recent news flash, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) proposed installation of photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftops of all protected monuments. The initiative found positive coverage in several mainstream media. With power generation ranging from 5 to 25 MW, such power plants would supposedly bring down the power bills of such sites. But, nothing could be more harebrained than an initiative like this. It is time perhaps to stand back and view the renewable missions and plans. The ambitious...

Expert Column |

State endorses Sport Killing

Poachers are having a field day in Bihar, courtesy India's Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF, CC). The visuals of Asia's largest antelope being gunned down reminds us of the Pre - Independence Jalianwala Bagh massacre by the arrogant Brigadier General R.E.H. Dyre in Amritsar, Punjab. Prakash Javdekar, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forests and Climate Change has joined the same hall of fame. Never in the history of this country has such a massacre...

Expert Column |

Brexit and India

Thursday, 23rd of June will go down in the history as a date on which the United Kingdom took a historic decision, which is called as political earthquake. In a people’s referendum it was decided to stay in the European Union (EU) or not to stay. The referendum was based on simple voting pattern which had only two options ‘remain’ or “leave’. By the morning of the next day, i.e. 24th of June it was clear that after more than 40 years as a member state of the EU, the British people decided...