A Fistful of Dry Rice: Land, Equity and Democracy – Essays in Honour of D. Bandyopadhyay
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The book highlights three areas of Public Policy and Governance Land, Equity and Democracy based on the vast experience and deep critical thinking of the authors. The section on Land deals with a variety of land tenure systems and their implications for efficiency of cultivation and returns to the cultivator, the commitment of major political parties to pursuing the agenda of land redistribution, reforms in tenancy relations, development policies contributing to social exclusion with respect to access to common property resources, subversion of redistributive land reforms in the process of implementation and social unrest caused by denial of rights in land to the rural poor.
The Section on Equity focuses on the state of implementation of laws and programmes which benefit the poor and the marginalized groups. It covers public policy, neglect and denial of justice to the tribes in respect of their core concerns, the lack of commitment to eliminate the scourge of debt bondage and manual scavenging, iniquitous, neo-liberal economy adversely impacting the Adivasis and the shrinking democratic space on account of the state’s repression of peaceful protests against unjust policies.
The section on Democracy highlights the unresponsive character of the Indian state which imposes unjust economic policies on people, unmindful of the suffering they cause, and deals with a diverse range of issues from reversal of welfare-oriented development, massive human rights violations in acquisition of land for development projects, the security-centric response of the state of the challenge posed by the Maoist movement to people’s own efforts in addressing development deficit, legitimacy and accountability of NGOs in advocacy and delivery of development programmes.
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