Mahanirban Calcutta Research group


Published Research Papers from crg


Research Papers on 2015 Next Year            Previous Years Research Papers on 2013




Policies and Practices 67

Accumulation under Post-Colonial Capitalism-IV
Mobile Labour and the New Urban

Mithilesh Kumar: Kumar’s paper looks at the problematic of infrastructure building and formation of a new political subject in the context of the Public-Private Partnership models (PPP) adopted by developmental agencies in Delhi.  

Shruti Dubey: Dubey’s paper explores the history of transformation of a small village called Khora into one of the most densely populated unauthorized colonies in Asia at the border of Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad with migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Bihar and West Bengal as its inhabitants.  

Sushmita Pati: Pati’s paper studies various intermingled practices of rent extraction and communal identity formation in the ‘urban villages’ of South Delhi.

Essays by Mithilesh Kumar, Shruti Dubey, Sushmita Pati



Policies and Practices 66

Accumulation under Post-Colonial Capitalism-III
The Arab Question in Post-Colonial France

Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun explores what it means to be Muslim in present day France by exploring the historical aspects of French laïcité or secularism. Starting from the debate on hijabs in France she explores the historic context of laicite as a principle to grant rights to minority and it’s misuse in present day France to take away rights from a minority. She also point out how such discrimination is leading to more and more people from the minorities depending on their own resources and dropping out of state-based institutions like school.
In the second article Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun explores how rejection and criticism of Said’s Orientalism demonstrates the strength of the colonial discourse and it’s hold on the academia and politics in France. She feels that positivist discourse being so strong in France has led to this rejection of France and it can only now begin to change as young scholars from former colonies attempt to de-colonize knowledge within French academia.

Essay by Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun



Policies and Practices 65

Accumulation under Post-Colonial Capitalism-II
War, Debt, and Reconstruction of Economy

Ahilan Kadirgamar: Ahilan Kadirgamar studies in his paper the reconstruction of the political economy of Jaffna after the end of the two and a half decade long civil war in Sri Lanka. He particularly explores the source of income of people in Jaffna in the post-war period, especially the relation between agriculture and other sources like remittance. He further enquires about the causes and implications of rising rural indebtedness in the area and its relation with the ongoing processes of capital accumulation and dispossession. 

Suhit K. Sen: Suhit Sen’s paper chronicles the nationalization of fourteen scheduled commercial banks in India in 1969 headed by Indira Gandhi and contextualizes this incident within a larger study of India political structures and processes in the years between January 1966 and March 1977. Rather than focusing on the technical aspects of the operations of the banks after nationalization, Sen foregrounds the multiple political agendas and interests that mired the issue and speculates on its possible outcomes including gains by the rich peasants and the government itself, keeping once again the weaker sections of the society at bay.

Essays by Ahilan Kadirgamar and Suhit K.Sen



Policies and Practices 64

Accumulation under Post-Colonial Capitalism-I
An Overview

Ranabir Samaddar: Ranabir Samaddar’s paper looks at the debates and discussions on the question of accumulation from a postcolonial perspective, that is, the angle of a critical theory of postcolonial capitalism. He is also concerned with the philosophical implications of a postcolonial critique of the contemporary dynamics of accumulation and whether that critique can originate only from within the postcolonial regime of accumulation.

Ilia Antenucci: Ilia Antenucci’s paper offers a set of hypotheses for understanding the connection between postcolonial capitalism and the global processes of securitization. Her paper uses the term ‘securitization’ in a flexible manner to indicate the simultaneous occurrence of different phenomena – the privatization of security, the expansion of the private security industry and the emergence of security as a hegemonic issue on a global scale. In particular, she examines the how these aspects of securitization are embedded in the processes of accumulation under postcolonial conditions.

Essays by Ranabir Samaddar and Ilia Antenucci



Policies and Practices 63

Body/Law/Technology: The Political Implications of Society as Apparatus

Itty Abraham: Itty Abraham’s paper starts with the notion of body made subject to the judicial gaze, mediated by forensic technologies. By referring to the practices of identity establishment and truth-telling since the colonial times and active even in the postcolonial age, Abraham invokes the concept of biopower to study the intersection of body, law and technology in non-Western settings. One of the contemporary sites of this intersection is the initiative of Universal Identification (UID) or Aadhar which he discusses at length in this paper. Drawing insights from the new media studies, especially the ideas like database and interface, he argues out that postcolonial biopower contingently positions individual rights and community standards within an apparatus that incorporates courts, legislatures, social movements, body parts and forensic technologies.

   Essay by Itty Abraham



Policies and Practices 62

Contesting Ideas on Peace (A Report & Some Reflections)

The article reflects upon the changing notions of peace in the modern world and role of peacemakers in different conflict situations. The author through select case studies examine how the character of war has changed from being ‘inter-state’ to ‘intra state’ in the post cold war scenario. Civil wars marked by vehement ethnic clashes and an inordinate desire of controlling global resources are now the order of the day. As a result the whole corpus of peace has changed in the modern world which demands new ideas and dialogues in peace studies. Against this backdrop, the article aims at analyzing governance initiatives amidst different conflicts in India and the European Union through comparative analyses of case studies from the two continents.

   Essay by Biswajit Roy



Policies and Practices 61

Failed by Design? The Limitations of Statebuilding

In his essay Oliver P. Richmond examines the theory and and practical aspects of statebuilding and emerges with a critique of statebuilding as resulting in fragile, insecure, ‘failed’ states. Because the paradigm of statebuilding, following a northern understanding of rationality and liberalism, has become so fixed, it precludes any discussion on different types of states that might be suited to different contexts. As a result about 1.5 billion people today continue to live in ‘fragile states’ (UNDP) that came about through the current discourse on statebuilding. Richmond critiques the practice of imposing this model of statebuilding as well as the theorisation surrounding statebuilding.

   Essay by Oliver P. Richmond



Policies and Practices 60

Stateless in Law : Two Assessments

Charlotte-Anne’s paper is a theoretical analysis of the prevention and reduction of statelessness under International Laws. She argued that while acceding to the two statelessness conventions would no doubt be a decision welcomed by the international community and organizations concerned with statelessness, there is much for India to do to address the plight of those who are stateless besides considering accession to either convention. She cited various International law documents under which India is bound to respect the civil, political and economic rights of an individual. Her final remarks are to revise Indian citizenship law and make the protection of international human rights available to every person present in India.
Shuvro Prosun Sarker seeks to look upon the legal position of 
stateless persons in India with a view to provide ways for reducing it. Though India is not bound by the UN Conventions relating to Statelessness, but her commitment to various other UN Conventions as signatory creates liability to look after the issue. Specific Indian legislations, case laws and discussions in the Parliament have been analyzed in this paper to allow the readers to have a proper idea about the legal-political situation. For a country like India statelessness emerges mainly for the following reasons rigidity of Indian citizenship laws, administrative obstacles by Indian authorities and neighboring countries, laws that revoke citizenship in some of the neighboring countries, arbitrary and discriminatory denial of citizenship in India in case of children, State
 withdrawal of Citizenship in some of the neighboring countries, laws affecting women rights of nationality and subsequent rights, transnational migration, etc. He finally argued that in this present political scenario it will not be favorable to adopt any of the conventions of statelessness by the Indian government as there is a growing concern over the third world approaches to international law, precisely public international law. However he favorably cited two recent judgments of Delhi High Court and Karnataka High Court, and the recent initiative of Election Commission of India to enroll the Tibetan children, who were born in India from 1950 to 1987, into the voter list as citizen of India, which might help other groups to make their way towards Indian citizenship.

   Essays by Charlotte-Anne Malischewski and Shuvro Prosun Sarker



Policies and Practices 59

In Search of Space: The Scheduled Caste Movement in West Bengal after Partition

In West Bengal it is widely believed that the discourse of class has displaced the discourse of caste. This notion of Bengali exceptionalism however was seriously challenged recently by the midday meal controversy in 2004, when it was widely reported that in a number of districts, parents of higher castes objected to their children eating cooked meals in schools prepared by volunteers from the Scheduled Castes. The situation underscored the importance of that unanswered question: if caste distinction still persists, then what happened to all those powerful voices that protested against it so forcefully before 1947? It is probably this prolonged and apparent silence on the part of the organized Scheduled Castes in the public life of West Bengal that has resulted in that powerful political myth that caste does not matter in Bengal. This study argues that an explanation for this silence lies partially in the long history of Partition. It also tells story of the breakdown of Scheduled Castes-Muslim alliance in east Bengal, the subsequent Scheduled Caste peasant migration, their dispersal, struggles and sufferings in post-Partition West Bengal between 1950 and 1964. The study shows how the caste question still worked in this refugee story.

   Essays by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury