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

Articles by Ranjit SauSubscribe to Ranjit Sau

Deflation, Devaluation and Employment

For the first time since the 1930s there is an apprehension that, following Japan, the United States and the euro-zone of Europe are likely to enter a state of deflation that entails a vicious circle of falling prices, lower income and fewer employment. To meet the challenge the US Federal Reserve Board has adopted a policy of reducing interest rate to almost zero. This note argues that the Fed policy of almost-zero interest rate tilts the factor-price ratio severely against labour vis-à-vis capital. In a regime of zero interest rate the economy would minimise the use of labour, replacing it by capital as far as possible. The professed goal of attaining the 'potential output' that means full employment, inter alia, will be defeated by the very policy that seeks to close the 'output gap'. This note constructs an alternative or additional policy to combat deflation. It also alerts third world countries that America and Europe may resort to competitive devaluation in order to export their deflation to third countries.

Crash of Civilisations

The recently signed Almaty Act called for a dialogue among civilisations - a pioneering endeavour. But as cracks appear in venerated systems and institutions, the need for a search for beliefs assumes enduring importance. This essay suggests that such a search for a priori propositions can only begin if a billion vocies rise and are also willing to listen to one another.

Musharraf's Quest for a 'Progressive and Dynamic' Pakistan

Pakistan has three clear models of modernisation it could emulate - China, India and Saudi Arabia. But while, Saudi Arabia has oil reserves in plenty and China, its diaspora's dollars, Pakistan remains poorly blessed with resources. It has only India to look to for emulation. India, in turn, requires Pakistan's hand of friendship for maintaining communal harmony and vice versa. More than ever before, India and Pakistan need each other.

Pervez Musharraf at Gates of 'Ijtihad'

The state of Pakistan cherished as a pioneer of Islamic revival, today faces a palpable dilemma. With terrorism vitiating the civil order and crippling the economy, the state would be reckoned to have failed. Musharraf's recent speech proposing a middle course between westernisation and Islam brings Pakistan face to face with a historic moment that should be seized.

Reconstruction of Afghanistan into a Modern Nation

Afghanistan today presents a unique case of reconstruction; its significance for world peace is enormous. This note maps the vital issues in the economy, polity, and society of Afghanistan. The Bonn agreement seems to have certain internal contradictions; an attempt has been made here to resolve them.

On the Kashmir Question

The movement for Kashmir has as one of its underlying motifs, religion. In this paper, the author seeks to historically analyse the many ways religion has been put to serve different purposes. Influenced more by the rituals and doctrines that are particular and contingent in time, the universal and eternal component of Islam seems to have been all but forgotten, more so by those fighting for 'Kashmir', subdued by what the author labels as the 'Arkoun-Kuran' effect - when the unthinkable is gradually transformed over time into the unthought. South Asia has seen the coexistence and synthesis of Hindu and Muslim cultures and traditions - only a renewed awareness of this can reverse the Arkoun-Kuran effect.

Let Their Holinesses Meet

A propos U Kalpagam's interesting letter ('Shankaracharyas and Academics', February 17), it is great that the respected Holiness Shankaracharya of Joshimath, Swami Vasudevanandji, inaugurated an international seminar in an ICSSR institute.

United States : Presidential Election

How has a clumsy voting machine for presidential election in the US survived so long? Only because the ruling elite of the society, economy, and polity is a well-knit homogeneous group, which has remained secure in its place for more than two centuries that scantly cares which particular person gets this purely temporary job of a president for so short a period as four years. The situation however, may well change in a few decades with demographic changes evident even now: whites will lose absolute majority, Hispanics will become the largest minority, and Islam will be the second largest religion in the US. In the emerging scenario the institution of presidential election ought to satisfy, more than ever before, the test of ' justice as fairness' together with the criteria of objectivity and transparency.


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