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

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Continuing Caste Atrocities in Southern Tamil Nadu

In the erstwhile Tirunelveli district, inclusive of the present Thoothukudi and Tenkasi districts, the year 1995 was a watershed one for the strong assertion of Dalits. In this article, the issues that emerged in the wake of the 1995 caste conflagration and the solutions offered at various academic forums are discussed in light of the recent appointment of a commission headed by retired Justice K Chandru by the Government of Tamil Nadu.

The Karaikal Train Chronicles

What if the Karaikal–SMVT Bengaluru Express, one of the longest day trains in South India, was turned into an immersive museum?

Cash and Wages

The recent cash assistance scheme called the Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai for eligible female household heads, announced by the Tamil Nadu government, is a significant policy intervention aimed at further strengthening women’s agency. Some of the implementation challenges that the scheme is likely to face are discussed while categorising the female beneficiaries within the households. The estimates from the Tamil Nadu Household Panel Survey’s Pre-Baseline Survey, 201819 are used to bring out the representativeness of the female population within the households. An equal amount of state investment in other aspects of gender inequality is called for.

Modern Challenges to the Dravidian Movement: The Question of Access and Quality of Higher Education in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has one the highest g ross e nrolment r at io in h igher e ducation among major states in India at 51.4%. These impressive numbers can be traced to multiple schemes of successive Dravidian g overnments that placed a firm emphasis on caste-based social justice, while also focusing on economic development and mobility. However, the abject quality of h igher e ducation i nstitutions in Tamil Nadu casts a serious shadow on the legacy of the Dravidian Movement. Increased privati s ation, low employability of graduates , and poor quality of h igher e ducation i nstitutions (HEIs) further exacerbate wage disparities and income inequalities, taking away the benefits of caste-based reservations, among other legacies of the Dravidian m ovement. This article analyses the shortcomings of the h igher e ducation model in Tamil Nadu and shows how increased access to higher education does little to acknowledge the socio-economic processes of caste in Tamil Nadu.

Contradictions within the Practices of a People’s Party

Rule of the Commoner: DMK and the Formations of the Political in Tamil Nadu, 1949–1967 by Rajan Kurai Krishnan, Ravindran Sriramachandran and V M S Subagunarajan, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022; pp xviii + 299, `895.

What Transforms?

A review of the book, Rule of the Commoner: DMK and the Formations of the Political in Tamil Nadu, 1949–67 (2022), by Rupa Viswanath was published in EPW (1 April 2023). The authors wish to respond to the review by presenting some of the core issues that this book is concerned with, to enable a larger discussion of electoral democracy in India.

Sustainability and Threshold Value of Public Debt in Tamil Nadu

The sustainability and the threshold level of public debt in Tamil Nadu is examined using the modern time series methods and threshold regression method. The results suggest that the current level of debt in the state is unsustainable, and the debt sustainability threshold is about 18.5%, which is slightly lower than the 20% norm set by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management review committee for states. The state should control its debt as it is currently not growth-inducing. The simulation exercise based on the debt dynamics of the state suggests that the state economy should grow at 14% and fiscal deficit target should be 2% from 2023–24 onwards to attain the debt sustainability target in 2035–36 and with 16% growth the state could reach the target in 2030–31. The relevant policy strategy for the state is to increase its own revenue–GSDP ratio by 0.75% and contain its revenue expenditures by 0.75% from 2023–24.

A Step Ahead in School Nutrition Programmes

The introduction of the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme in government and aided schools is a timely intervention to ensure nutritious food for children aged between five and nine. The salient features of the scheme are highlighted and the potential ways to strengthen its long-term sustainability are discussed.

Policy and Practice of Social Justice in Tamil Nadu

Rethinking Social Justice edited by S Anandhi, Karthick Ram Manoharan, M Vijayabaskar and A Kalaiyarasan, with a foreword by Partha Chatterjee, Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2020, pp 368, `795 (paperback).

Pro-poorness of Growth in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu

This article presents a comparative analysis of poverty reduction and pro-poorness of growth in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu during the post-reform period. We use the unit-level data of the Consumer Expenditure Surveys of the National Sample Survey Office to estimate the poverty ratio for both rural and urban areas of these states. The first period (1993–94 to 2004–05) recorded a slow poverty reduction, but the second period (2004–05 to 2011–12) witnessed a faster reduction in poverty in rural and urban areas in both the states concerned.

The Legacy of Balamani Ammal in Tamil Theatre

Tracing the life and works of Balamani Ammal, who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century, flags off the aspects of gendered history of theatre. It is a rich history of someone who ventured into many forms—Sadhir, stage dramas, “novels,” Sanskrit plays, and Harikatha. It also reveals her exceptional interest in introducing new technical devices like petromax lighting and creating silhouette through the use of lights. She, along with her sister Rajambal, formed the first ever all-female theatre company in Tamil Nadu. Using Balamani Ammal’s sketchy life available through scant resources, the paper would like to raise issues with the historiographic practices existing in theatre history from a gendered point of view.

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