Democratic Governance and Special Interests

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Democracies serve needs of all citizens only if they are not held ‘hostage’ to some special interests. When common public interests are allowed to be surrendered to the special interests of one group or community, democratic governance becomes a burden. Typically, such ‘concessions’ to special interests are granted on the quid-pro-quo basis for electoral support […]

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Harmonizing expectations with reality: Experiences from a field visit

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by Ms. Sudha Samyukta Mutnury  When a researcher goes in to the problems and lives, in however small a way, he/she carries the burden of hopes and expectations the people on the other side have in them. This I learnt from hands on experience during a field visit. This visit was to a village called […]

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Random Reflections — A Requiem for Martha

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A Requiem for Martha Not-so-random Reflections Dr Martha Farrell, Director PRIA, was killed in a terrorist attack in Kabul on May 13, 2015; she was conducting a training programme on gender mainstreaming for Afghan practitioners. While conducting the first ever participatory evaluation of an educational project in 1981, I met Martha at Abner Memorial School […]

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Domestic Dissent and Foreign Hand: Unending Saga of Citizen- State Relations in India

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Having left the teaching career at IIM Calcutta and ventured into the field of social development through a voluntary organisation some years ago, I was surprised to learn that an article had appeared in The Marxist (June 1984) which argued that ‘action groups and voluntary organisations  in India were a part of western imperialist strategy’. […]

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