Journal article / Motivation Model of Serial Killers

Deepak, S. A., and S. Ramdoss. ‘The Life-Course Theory of Serial Killing: A Motivation Model’. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Published ahead of print, 17 December 2020.

Abstract (edited): Case studies were conducted on eight serial killers in India who were inmates in central prisons of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The study is a pioneering one on serial killers in the locale of the study.

All available information about the lives of offenders were collected through multiple sources, including in-depth interviews with serial killers in the prisons, interviews of relatives of the killers, surviving victims, investigators, crime scene studies, etc. The collected data were chronologically arranged to construct biographies of the offenders.

The rich biographies were carefully analysed to construct an inclusive motivation model that can explain the process of individuals evolving into serial killers from a life-course approach.

The motivation in each of the eight cases was explained with the proposed motivation model. The constructed motivation model is unique from the existing models, which were mostly rigid and, therefore, not applicable to cases outside the studies.

The model proposes three critical determinants for explaining the evolution of a person into a serial killer—‘nature’, ‘Deep Resting Life Factor’, and ‘key Incidents’. The study found a relatively short incident named ‘trigger’ in the lives of six serial killers, which played a significant role in bringing out the dormant killer instinct and push the subjects toward the first murder.
The comparative analysis of the motivation in different cases revealed that though there were recurring factors in the lives of serial killers, their interactions were more important than standalone factors. The study also found that there are no predetermined recipes for the making of a killer like some past researchers claimed.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X20981030

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Journal article / Availability, Price and Affordability of Essential Medicines in Kerala for Managing Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes

Satheesh, Gautam, Abhishek Sharma, Sandra Puthean, Muhammed Ansil T.P., Jereena E., Shiva Raj Mishra, and M. K. Unnikrishnan. ‘Availability, Price and Affordability of Essential Medicines for Managing Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes: A Statewide Survey in Kerala, India’. Tropical Medicine & International Health 25, no. 12 (December 2020): 1467–79.

Abstract (edited): Limited access to essential medicines (EMs) for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes is a major concern in low‐ and middle‐income countries. We aimed to generate data on the availability, price, and affordability of EMs for CVD and diabetes in India.

Using WHO/HAI survey methodology, we evaluated the availability and prices of 23 EMs in 30 public sector facilities (government hospitals and semi‐public/government‐subsidised‐discount‐pharmacies (GSDPs)) and 60 private retail pharmacies across six districts in Kerala (November 2018–May 2019).

Median Price Ratios (MPRs) were calculated by comparing consumer prices with international reference prices. We also analysed data (collected in July 2020) on six anti‐hypertensive fixed‐dose‐combinations (FDCs) that were designated as ‘essential’ by the WHO in 2019.
Mean availability of surveyed generic EMs was 45.7% in government hospitals, 64.7% in GSDPs and 72.0% in private retail pharmacies. On average, the most‐sold and highest‐priced generics, respectively, were 6.6% and 8.9% costlier than the lowest‐priced generics (LPG). Median MPR for LPG was 2.71 in private retail and 2.25 in GSDPs.
Monthly supply of LPG would cost the lowest‐paid worker 1.11 and 0.79 days’ wages in private retail and GSDPs, respectively. Mean availability of the surveyed FDCs was poor (private retail: 15–85%; GSDPs: 8.3–66.7%), and the private retail prices of FDCs were comparable to the sum of corresponding constituent monotherapies.

Availability of CVD and diabetes EMs fall short of WHO’s 80% target in both sectors. Although availability in private retail pharmacies was near‐optimal, prices appear unaffordable compared to GSDPs. Initiatives such as mandating generic prescribing, adding the WHO‐approved FDCs in local EM lists, improving price transparency, and streamlining medicine supply to ensure equitable access to EMs, especially in the public sector, are crucial in tackling Kerala’s ever‐increasing CVD burden.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1111/tmi.13494

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Journal article / Rise and Growth of Hindutva in Kerala, 1925–2015

Arafath, P. K. Yasser. ‘Southern Hindutva: Rhetoric, Parivar Kinship and Performative Politics in Kerala, 1925–2015’. Economic and Political Weekly 56, no. 2 (9 January 2021): 51–60.
Excerpt (edited): Considering itself as the surrogate family (parivar) of all Hindus, Hindutva has created a decisive presence—physical, emotional, and ideological—in Kerala over the past eight decades. However, mainstream academics have treated the presence of Hindutva either as the effect of an invisible melancholy or an inconsequential anomaly and, as a result, have failed to unearth the intricate web of relations that underlie its political growth.
Therefore, this paper tries to open up some important questions about the rise and growth of Hindutva in Kerala by examining some core elements of its political and ideological characteristics. It argues that even though Hindutva’s modus operandi in Kerala has not been significantly different from other places in India, the strategies it evolved in the state have certain interesting characteristics.
To comprehend those, the intrinsic connections between the growth of Hindutva and the elements of violence, sexual politics, and the notion of purity need to be analysed. It is important to see how the parivar designed its scheme in Kerala where all three of its declared internal threats— Communist, Muslims, and Christians—have powerful shares and decisive presence in every walk of life.
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Journal article / Recent Debates among Mappila Muslims on ‘True Islam’

Thadathil, Hashim. ‘Constructing Authenticity in Discourse(s): Debates among the Mappila Muslims of Malabar, South India’. Asian Journal of Social Science 48, nos. 5–6 (December 2020): 449–67.
Abstract: Claiming and representing ‘True’ Islam has been a major preoccupation among Muslim groups in Kerala in recent times. In a way, this has augmented the Muslim public sphere in which active debates happen, and also breaks with the general understanding of Islam as monolithic in its ideology and practice.
This paper attempts to bring precisely this dynamics of Muslim public sphere in Malabar, where prominent groups like the Sunni, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen debate constantly over the representation and following of what is called ‘True Islam’. The claim towards a true Islam is done by each of the groups by claiming authenticity over what they preach and practice.
This paper highlights these debates in the context of the academic debates over ‘True’ and ‘Authenticated’ Islam.

 

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Journal article / Pre-trip usage of Social Media by Tourists in Kerala

Joseph, Ansted Iype, Sangeeta Peter, and Victor Anandkumar. 2020. ‘Development of a Typology of Tourists Based on Pre-Trip Use of Social Media’. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration. Published ahead of print, 28 December 2020.

Abstract: Four hundred domestic and international tourists visiting Kerala were typologised using cluster and discriminant analysis into three clusters – ‘Enthusiastic Travellers,’ ‘Information Seekers’, and ‘Planners’ based on their pre-trip usage of social media. Association between the clusters and external variables were used to characterise the typologies.

Findings indicate that domestic tourists and international tourists differ in their usage of social media. Domestic tourists use social media for gathering information, and international tourists use social media for trip planning and online travel booking in addition to gathering information.

Findings also indicate that gender does not influence the usage of social media in the pre-trip phase.

This study expands the understanding of typologies in tourism and suggests directions to destination marketing organisations and tourism service providers.

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Journal article / Empathetic Networks in Malayalam Short Films from the Gulf

Mini, Darshana Sreedhar. ‘Transnational Ethical Screens: Empathetic Networks in Malayalam Short Films from the Gulf’. Film History 32, no. 3 (2020): 141-69.
Abstract: This paper explores the emergence of ethical and empathetic modes of transnationality in the specific context of Malayali diasporic media in the Middle Eastern Gulf.
Through a combined analysis of short films, literature, advertisements, bureaucratic policies, and ethnographic vignettes, this paper looks at the figure of the migrant labourer as both a social force and a media object around which ideas of justice and empathy cohere.
I argue that such film and media constitute a mediated vision of ethical transnationalism—one that bypasses the red tape of the state and instead emphasizes an affective recognition of the other.

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Journal article (OA) / Gender Roles in Kalaripayattu Practices

Mandakathingal, Ashitha. ‘Gender Roles in Martial Art: A Comparative Analysis of Kalaripayattu Practices in India’. Women’s Studies. Published ahead of print, 23 December 2020.
Excerpt: Although the immediate catalyst for the momentum to revitalize this ancient sport is centred on an elderly woman, there is nonetheless a deep-rooted gender gap as regards practising, performing, and teaching Kalaripayattu in Kerala, as this is a male bastion.
There are only a handful of women out there in this field even today despite the state’s much-talked-about gender liberation more than a century ago.
Unlike in Kerala, the mushrooming of Kalaris and the large numbers of women practitioners and performers in the metropolitan cities in south India such as Chennai and Bengaluru are noticeable.
The healthy numbers of women performers in the Kalaris in these metropolitan cities challenge the conventional idea that this martial art is inherently masculine and not suitable for women.
This paper is a comparative analysis of the gender differentiation seen in Kalaripayattu in the Kerala society and the metropolitan spaces of Bengaluru and Chennai.
It seeks to demonstrate how gender differentiation in Kalaripayattu is related not merely to the nature of the practices of that institution but is rather the result of the continuing influence of social and geographical spaces on masculine and feminine roles.
More info and full text (OA): https://doi.org/10.1080/00497878.2020.1843039

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Journal article / International Tourism and Economic Growth of Kerala

Lekshmi, R. S. Kavya, and Hrushikesh Mallick. ‘Contribution of International Tourism to Economic Growth of Kerala: A Subnational-Level Analysis in India’. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events. Published ahead of print, 15 December 2020.
Abstract: The study attempts to understand the contribution of international tourism on economic growth at a sub-national level (i.e. for Kerala) of the Indian economy.
By exercising the Johansen cointegration test and Vector Error Correction Model on the annual data from 1980 to 2017, it reveals the existence of a positive long-run association between tourism and economic growth.
It finds that an increase of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA) by 1% leads to almost a same percentage increase in Gross State Domestic Product (by 0.97%) in the long-run.
Thus, it suggests that tourism has a significant potential of unleashing the economic growth of Kerala and this is found to be robust with the use of alternative econometric estimation methods.

 

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Journal article / An Econometric Efficiency Analysis of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation

Bhandari, Anup Kumar, and Sreelakshmi P. ‘Kerala State Road Transport Corporation: A Relook at Its Efficiency and Potential’. Economic and Political Weekly 55, no. 48 (5 June 2015): 7–8.

Excerpt (edited; in lieu of abstract): This paper attempts a depot-wise efficiency analysis of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and its regional variations for the period 1988–97 using the data envelopment analysis methodology. It then links the findings to the KSRTC’s overall financial position for the subsequent period from 2003–04 to 2014–15. The study concludes that the day-to-day operational position of the KSRTC can be substantially bettered if it can utilise its prevailing efficiency improvement potentials to some extent.

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Journal article / Nature Cure and Conceptions of Ageing and Health in Kerala

Sheldon, Victoria. ‘To Do Nothing: Revising Good Aging and Reviving Pre-Toxic Pasts at a Kerala Nature Cure Home’. Asian Medicine 15, no. 1 (November 2020): 133–60.

Abstract (edited): In Kerala, South India, individual pursuits of nature cure (prakrti cikitsa) invoke ethical narratives about an idealised purer past, contrasting a dangerous present saturated with social and environmental toxins. While first popularized in India by M. K. Gandhi, nature cure has gained contemporary fame as a low-cost intervention for Kerala’s purported health crisis: chronic lifestyle diseases. Non-professionalised natural healers identify as public health activists, teaching predominantly urban, middle-class patients how to revive local lifeways of self-doctorhood.
This article narrates how two ageing patients internalise their naturopathic doctors’ advice to detoxify and ‘do nothing’ rather than strive for biomedical cure. By naturally revitalising their bodies, they cultivate feelings of intense independence and ecological attachment that reconfigure experiences of migrated-kin isolation. In counterpoint to literature that frames biopolitical and medical discourses as causally producing moral subjectivities, this article demonstrates how persons agentively craft counternormative, vitalistic models of ageing and health, contributing to broader localist imaginaries of reviving pre-toxic lifeways.

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