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

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OPERATION FLOOD- EEC Report Vindicates Critics

EEC Report Vindicates Critics Shalini Randeria IN its highly critical evaluation report on Operation Flood II, the Joint Review Mis- sion of the EEC and the World Bank has come to the concluson that " .. at present the imports of dairy products (either donated, subsidised or commercial) should be substantially reduced or terminated. In the presence of growing indigenous stocks, imports would tend to negatively influence the producer's market and damage the transition to a viable co-operative industry" (p 19)* It, therefore, recommends that "... deliveries of milk powder and butteroil should take place only if and when a substantial and documented deficit show's up" (p II).

Sociology of Bride-Price and Dowry

Sociology of Bride-Price and Dowry Shalini Randeria Leela Visaria THIS article is provoked by Indira Rajaraman's article on the 'Economics of Bride-Price and Dowry', which appeared in these columns, and by the discussion which followed it (February 19, April 9. June 4, Sepember 3-10 and November 19, 1983). Neither Rajaiaman, who seeks to build an economic model of the presumed switch of "entire endogamous groups from a bride-price to a dowry system" (our italics), nor her critics provide any empirical data in support of their generalisations. On the basis of our data from north Gujarat. we have serious doubts about Rajaraman's premise that entire sub-castes had a bride- price system in the past, and have given it up in favour of a dowry system now Our interpretation of the census and the NSS data seems to invalidate her other premise that there has been a significant decline in female participation in the labour force. We also fail to see the causal relationship between these two premises as is sought to be established in Rajaraman's model First, we attempt to understand the terms 'bride-price' and 'dowry' which have been left undefined by all contributors to the discussion so far. We then turn to our own field work data on the scheduled castes of North Gujarat (We feel free to do so, because Rajaraman's model is neither region nor caste-specific .) Finally we look at the labour force data from the censuses as well as the National Sample Surveys and try to assess whether there has been any significant change in female participation in the labour force. In our view, the observed decline is an artifact to the definitional changes in the concept of work, which make the 1961, 1971 and 1981 census data non- comparable.

GUJARAT-Holiday from Labour Laws

GUJARAT Holiday from Labour Laws Shalini Randeria Achyut Yagnik THERE was a time when the feudal lords approached the Pope for Dispensations from the rigours of Canonic Laws. To prop up the Papal System these Dispensations were granted for a price. Fortunately for the powers that be, such medieval practices have not died out in present- day Gujarat, as may be seen from the following report from the Ahmedabad editions of Times of India of August 6:

GUJARAT- Mobilising Rural Dalits

GUJARAT Mobilising Rural Dalits Shalini Randeria Achyut Yagnik THE anti-reservation movement in Gujarat ended in April 1981, but the social and economic boycott of Dalits in rural areas continues. In a climate of increasing mistrust and widening social distance between upper castes Dalits, the latter are subjected to continual , harassment, being refused work, denied milk and newspapers in the villages, In central Gujarat, in southern parts of Mehasana district and in areas around Ahmedabad, Dalit landless labourers are being replaced by Bhil tribals of Panchmahal With growing awareness among the Dalits, and the demand for statutory minimum agricultural wages (revised from Rs 5.50 to Rs 9 in 1982), the offensive against them has assumed serious proportions. According to official statistics, last year on an average, one Dalit was murdered in Gujarat every fortnight. Any one familiar with rural Gujarat will realise that tin's is a grass underestimate, as most murders of Dalits by high-caste landlords are passed off as 'accidents'. The modus operandi of the rural elite, and the complicity of lower-level bureaucrats and politicians in the atrocities on Dalits, is illustrated by these two incidents in Sabarkantha District which these correspondents visited recently.

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