Buddhadeb Ghosh (“What Made the ‘Unwilling Farmers’ Unwilling? A Note on Singur”, EPW, 11 August 2012) has made important observations that help us understand the Singur story better. However, I fi nd some of his arguments problematic. (Letters)

Mrinal Gore, veteran politician and leader of the women's movement in Maharashtra, who passed away recently was the quintessential grass-roots leader who could also hold her own in the state legislature. A call from her would mobilise thousands of women on the streets of Mumbai and she tirelessly raised issues that affected the common citizen, from rising prices, shortage of water, sex determination tests to corruption in real estate. Mumbai's citizens, otherwise ever cynical about politicians, held her in great esteem and affectionately called her paaniwali bai - the water lady.

An ethnography of everyday life in Shivaji Nagar, a predominantly Muslim slum locality in Mumbai, illustrates how its "Muslimness" complicates the residents' access to water, a commodified and politicised amenity. The struggles of local Muslims to access water also involve holding the state accountable through localised "mundane" politics at the periphery. The state's inability to address the differential access to water is challenged through locally elected political representatives.

The Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in southern Sumatra (Indonesia) has been on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 2004. Home to tigers, elephants, and rare Sumatran rhinos, the Park is also home to numerous squatters since the early 1970s. Part of the Park was restored after forcible evictions in the 1980s. However, since the end of General Suharto's authoritarian rule in 1998, the number of squatters has been on the increase.

Some states have banned mechanised mining, but the mafia is not ready to obey. Illegal mining is hollowing the riverbed putting at risk the stability and ecology of rivers. This special report in Down To Earth examines the murky business of sand mining.

Three out of four U.S.

Though much intellectual energy has been expended on the “poverty problem” in India, the debate simply does not take into account the highly unequal social context in which poverty is produced and reproduced. Can we reflect on the right not to be poor without taking on these background inequalities? Arguably, the right not to be poor is best articulated as a subset of the generic right to equality. The concept of equality is, however, not self-explanatory. In many circles, redistributive justice has replaced equality. It is therefore time to ask the question – equality for what?

A Bill to re-enact the law to provide for establishment of an independent body of Himachal Lokayukta to inquire into complaints and allegations of corruption against public servants and public functionaries and for matters connected
therewith or incidental thereto.

The Arctic is likely to attract substantial investment over the next ten years, potentially reaching 100 billion $ or more, according to the report “Arctic Opening” by Chatham House and Lloyd´s of London. The authors also point to risks: the environmental consequences of disasters in the Arctic are likely to be worse than in other regions.

The force used to break up a peaceful struggle will reinforce cynicism about the political system. (Editorial)

Pages