Journal article / Sub-national Voting in National Election

Ray, Subhasish, and Anil Varughese. ‘Economic Voting in Multi-Level Contexts: Evidence from Kerala and West Bengal in India’. Electoral Studies 73 (October 2021), Article 102378. Published ahead of print, 14 July 2021.

Abstract: What determines electoral support for national incumbent parties and state-level challengers in sub-national pro-poor contexts?

Based on survey data from Kerala and West Bengal, collected prior to the 2019 national election, we find that voters were more (less) inclined to vote for the sub-national incumbent relative to the national incumbent if their household economic conditions were perceived to have improved (deteriorated) relative to national economic conditions.

Our findings indicate that voters in these settings correctly assume that the sub-national incumbent cannot be held responsible for changes in national economic conditions, but the existence of a strong welfare state at the sub-national level creates expectations that the sub-national government is responsible for personal welfare. Hence, the national election is used to assess the economic performance of both the sub-national and the national incumbent.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2021.102378

 

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Journal article / A Feminist Re-Writing of the Sabarimala Judgement of 1991

Uma, Saumya. ‘Menstrual “Impurity”, Women’s Access to Public Worship and the Law: A Feminist Re-Writing of the Sabarimala Judgement S. Mahendran v The Secretary, Travancore Devaswom Board AIR 1993 Ker 42’. Indian Law Review. Published ahead of print, 28 June 2021.

Abstract: The central concern of the case was the constitutional validity of a long-enforced prohibition on women aged 10–50 from entering the Hindu temple at Sabarimala (in Kerala), with the intersection of freedom of religion and equality rights of women as its backdrop.

The Kerala High Court’s judgement of 1991, which upheld its validity, was followed by a complex web of litigation and protests, culminating in the Supreme Court judgement of 2018 in Indian Young Lawyers’ Association v. State of Kerala. The 2018 judgement, with a majority of 4:1, held that the prohibition was unconstitutional and discriminatory against women.

However, by adopting a feminist analysis, I demonstrate not only that the Kerala High Court judgement overlooked women’s right to freedom of religion, but that the tools to deliver a more gender-equal judgement were fully available to the High Court in 1991, and had the potential to be applied to the issue.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1080/24730580.2021.1937893

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Journal article / In Malayalam Horror-Comedies, the Yakshi is Still Trapped in Monstrosity

Aiyappan, Arya, and Johnys P. Stephen. ‘Yakshi at the Crossroads: Gendering Horror and Trauma in Malayalam Horror-Comedies’. Quarterly Review of Film and Video. Published ahead of print, 29 June 2021.

Excerpts (edited): Scanning through Malayalam horror films brings us across three iconic ghost representations—the Yakshi, the Pretham, and the Bhootham. Malayalam cinema’s configuration of these iconic representations differs from those conceptualised in the West. Malayalam cinema initiated the horror genre representing the ghost as a Yakshi, the spiteful feminine principle with an insatiable thirst for avenging the sufferings that she endured in life and death, Pretham is a unisex term designating a spirit, harmful or otherwise, whereas Bhootham often signifies a mischievous yet loving and helping genie, predominantly male.

Despite mutations of the horror genre into horror-comedies that have conferred positive connotations on the Pretham and the Bhootham over time, the Yakshi is still trapped in her monstrosity. The current article probes this monochromatic construction to understand how these representations work, why the Yakshi is denied a positive makeover, and what happens to both the characterisation and the genre when humour is interspersed.

She [Yakshi] remains the evil symbol wreaking havoc, never salvaged from the negative shades. Popular films rehash this image endlessly securing it in our ethos. Humour aggravates the injury, disarming her of any presumed threat by laughing at her to other her. Contemporary society is neither bogged down by the Yakshi trope nor inclined to deconstruct it. Deep-seated refusal to accommodate the bold feminine accounts for the reluctance to characterise the Yakshi in a way other than how it was conceptualised by the Brahmanical patriarchal society decades ago.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1080/10509208.2021.1939623

 

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Journal article / Forest Fire Risk Zone Mapping of the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

Nikhil, S., Jean Homian Danumah, Sunil Saha, Megha K. Prasad, A. Rajaneesh, Pratheesh C. Mammen, R. S. Ajin, and Sekhar L. Kuriakose. ‘Application of GIS and AHP Method in Forest Fire Risk Zone Mapping: A Study of the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Kerala, India’. Journal of Geovisualization and Spatial Analysis 5, no. 1 (June 2021), Article number 14.

Abstract: Forest fires are one of the most common natural hazards that occur in the Western Ghats region. There are many protected areas in this part of the Western Ghats; therefore, fire can pose a serious threat to habitats and wildlife. In the past, fires have also affected the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.

The objectives of this study were to demarcate the fire risk zones using GIS techniques and to evaluate the influence of each factor on fire initiation. The following factors were selected for the analysis: land cover types, slope angle, aspect, topographic wetness index, distance from the settlement, distance from the road, distance from the tourist spot, and distance from the anti-poaching camp shed.
The analytical hierarchy process method was used to determine the weights, and ArcGIS and ERDAS Imagine software tools were used to create the fire risk zone map. The area of the prepared map is divided into the following five risk zones: very low, low, moderate, high, and very high. The risk zone map has been validated using fire incidence data for the period from 2002 to 2020 collected from the forest fire portal of the Forest Survey of India.

It was found that 71% of fire incidences fall in high-risk and very high–risk zones of the prepared map. The validation using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, with an area under the ROC curve value of 0.795, confirms the prediction accuracy of the risk zone map.

The prepared fire risk zone map will help the planners, officials of the forest, and the disaster management departments to take appropriate mitigation measures in order to prevent future fires and thereby protect the valuable forest resources.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41651-021-00082-x

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Journal article / (OA) Women in Cinema Collective: From Resistance to Leadership

Mathew, Jimin S., and Alna Mariya Isac. ‘From Resistance to Leadership: The Role of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) in “Voicing the Women” in the Malayalam Film Industry’. Journal of International Women’s Studies 22, no. 6 (June 2021): 150–56.

Abstract: On 17 February 2017, a popular film actress in the Malayalam film industry was sexually assaulted and harassed in a running vehicle as she was returning from work. A group of women came together as a collective to support the survivor and to address some of the problems plaguing women in the film industry.

The heinous crime was a blow to the conscience of the state of Kerala, which is considered the most educated and well-governed state with better living conditions when compared to all the other states in India. It revealed the long-silenced and unquestioned reality of gender issues related to the safety of women, pay parity, exploitation, etc., in the Malayalam film industry.

Though the inception of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) resulted from the chaotic situation of an unfortunate incident, this was the beginning of a resistance movement against the existing and persistent gender problems in the Malayalam film industry. Attempts were made to encourage discussions and strive to find solutions.

Through their vision of ‘equal spaces and equal opportunities for women in cinema’, the WCC creates a platform to voice issues that women face in workspaces and calls for policy reform at the government level.

This article discusses the WCC’s inception as a collective resistance to patriarchal privileges, analyses the limitations and dynamics of cinema workspaces, and looks at how dialogues continue to bring change, urging an investigation into gender issues and the difficulties that women in the industry face.

More info and full text (OA): https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol22/iss6/15

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Journal article / Politics of Knowledge Production in Pollution Governance

Binoy, Parvathy. ‘Pollution Governance in the Time of Disasters: Testimonials of Caste/d Women and the Politics of Knowledge in Kathikudam, Kerala’. Geoforum 124 (August 2021): 175–84.

Abstract: This paper draws on fieldwork conducted in the agricultural village of Kathikudam [in Thrissur District] in Kerala.
The paper looks at the ways in which the production of knowledge of contemporary pollution governance in India is configured through the reproduction of marginalisation through the devaluation of knowledge held by racialised and caste/d subsistence women farmers in Kathikudam.

This paper also illuminates how this production of knowledge and the attendant marginality it produces creates a sedimented form of disaster in the community.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2021.06.008

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Journal article / Social Conventions in Community-based Palliative Care

Varman, Rohit, Devi Vijay, and Per Skålén. ‘The Conflicting Conventions of Care: Transformative Service as Justice and Agape’. Journal of Service Research. Published ahead of print, 10 June 2021.

Abstract: In this study, we examine the conflicts and unintended consequences that arise from the diverse social conventions constituting a transformative service.

We draw on convention theory and an ethnographic study to interpret a community-based palliative care initiative in Kerala as a transformative service system.

We contribute to transformative service research by developing a dialectical transformative service system framework that is a synthesis of the calculative conflict-ridden regime of justice and the non-calculative regime of agape based on love.

In this framework, the calculative regime of justice has civic conventions at its core and industrial, inspired, market, domestic, and fame conventions as ancillaries. While the regime of justice is associated with the undesired, unintended consequence of conflicts, the regime of agape constitutes a desirable unintended consequence.

Our framework provides a micro-level understanding of disputes and their reconciliation, advances a diffused understanding of worth that ruptures the binary of legitimate or illegitimate actions, and delineates the significance of morality.

Our study also contributes by explaining agape’s role in transformative service, particularly in health and caregiving.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1177/10946705211018503

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Journal article / (OA) Impact of Covid-19 on Women Domestic Workers

Sumalatha, B. S., Lekha D. Bhat, and K. P. Chitra. ‘Impact of Covid-19 on Informal Sector: A Study of Women Domestic Workers in India’. The Indian Economic Journal. Published ahead of print, 25 June 2021.

Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has left a severe impact on the livelihood, security, and health of informal sector workers, especially domestic workers, the majority of whom are women. Being least organised and lacking institutional support, domestic workers are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and human rights violations, and the pandemic has aggravated the situation.

Telephonic interviews were conducted with 260 domestic workers from three cities (Delhi, Mumbai, and Kochi) with a focus on working conditions, livelihood and household dynamics, health scenarios, and state support during the pandemic. The data was substantiated with qualitative inputs from in-depth interviews conducted with 12 domestic workers across the cities.

In the results, widespread job loss is reported among domestic workers during March–June 2020 along with drastically reduced income and increased workload. About 57% of domestic workers reported stigma and discrimination at the workplace, and 40% worked without any safety measures. Incidence of domestic violence at home, increased work burden at home, and issues in access to health care were reported.

The study findings point to the urgent need to have a national-level policy and state support specifically targeting women domestic workers, without which the situation of poverty, health hazards, and social exclusion will continue to exist.

More info and full text (OA): https://doi.org/10.1177/00194662211023845

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Journal article / The Impact of Aggregate Level Alcohol Consumption on Homicide Rates

Vinod Kumar, T. K. ‘The Impact of Aggregate Level Alcohol Consumption on Homicide Rates: A Time Series Analysis’. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Published ahead of print, 30 June 2021.

Abstract: Consumption of alcohol has an impact on violent crimes and homicides. The study examines the association between aggregate level consumption of spirit and homicide rates in Kerala.

Time-series analyses were conducted by building Autoregressive Moving Average with Exogenous Variables (ARMAX) models and OLS Regression models to explain the relationship between the monthly rate of consumption of alcoholic spirits and homicide rates.

The study concludes that consumption of alcoholic spirits has a statistically significant impact on the total homicide rates and the male and female homicide rates.

The study has significant policy implications being one of the first studies examining the relationship between alcohol consumption and homicide rates in India and suggesting methods to address challenges of adverse public health consequences associated with alcohol consumption.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X211028774

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Journal article / Symbolic versus Substantive Sustainability Practices of Cocoa Suppliers

halique, M. S., Sidhartha S. Padhi, Jayanth Jayaram, and Rupesh K. Pati. ‘Adoption of Symbolic versus Substantive Sustainability Practices by Lower-Tier Suppliers: A Behavioural View’. International Journal of Production Research. Published ahead of print, 17 June 2021.

Abstract: Buying firms adopt various governance mechanisms to ensure sustainability compliance among upstream suppliers. While certification is the most popular governance mechanism used worldwide, mounting evidence indicates that there is an incongruity in sustainability efforts between what is declared by supplier firms and their actual practices.

Our empirical analysis of sustainable cocoa suppliers in Kerala indicates that behavioural characteristics of suppliers, specifically their attitude towards risk and ambiguity, can be used to assess suppliers’ tendency to adopt symbolic versus substantive sustainability postures.

Risk aversion and ambiguity aversion were found to predict the sustainability posture of substantive (over symbolic) sustainability practices. Also, firm size and collaboration intensity played a significant role in supplier sustainability behaviour.

The findings have important implications for academic research on sustainability, and policy implications for agencies charged with compliance with sustainability standards and guidelines. Finally, our study is beneficial for practising managers who find it difficult to monitor sustainability compliance with respect to their supply base.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2021.1939454

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