Friday, January 20, 2006

Democratic Decentralisation in Kerala

Professor Thomas Isaac, economist, political activist and co-author of Local Democracy and Development, will deliver this year's Balwantrai Mehta Memorial Lecture at the University of Mumbai. It's on the 24th of January, and the venue is ICSSR Conference Hall, Vidyanagari Campus, University of Mumbai. The lecture is titled 'Democratic Decentralisation in Kerala: Lessons learnt and way ahead'.

Eminent journalist P. Sainath will preside over the function.

[Via e-mail from Jose George.]


At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Pradeep said...

Thomas Isaac is one of the controversial politician cum intellect of Kerala. AS an aspiring finance minister in the next LDF Govt. he had played lot of group politics within CPM. He got the least number of votes in the recent CPM state committee election. Thinkers like Prof. M.N
Vijayan accused Isaac and his collaborator Richard Franke from USA as the World bank agents who are trying to destroy the social and political frame work of so called Kerala Model.

At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anand said...

Pradeep -- Thanks for the comment. I personally think "thinkers like M.N. Vijayan" did not think much. Anyone can accuse anyone else on anything, right? One needs to back up one's accusations.

At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Pradeep said...

Anand, Thanks for your reply. For me MN Vijayan is one of finest intellectuals of Kerala. The Clarity and orginality of thoughts are clearly visible in many of his writings and interviews. In the Isac-Franke issue, atleast on ideological level , I think Vijayans concerns are to be carefully evaluated.

A good summary of the whole episode can be found at

But I dont want to forget Vijayns support for the CPM bruitality in Parassinikadavu snake park, when he was closely associated with party.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Anand said...

Okay Pradeep, but I'm afraid I cannot continue beyond a point on this topic. I have heard Prof. Vijayan many many times in my college days. It so happens that I know him, having been to his house etc and he's been very nice to me. (He's a close friend of my father's). I never found any originality of thought or any such thing but I guess I'm not in a position to criticize him too much as there's a good chance that even point-to-point criticisms can be interpreted as personal attacks in certain circles in Kerala. I'm just being careful.

At 5:54 AM, Anonymous Pradeep said...

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, Anand. So let us agree to disagree!

At 7:27 PM, Blogger pennathur said...

Why are you shying away from a discussion of the Parassinnikadavu incident? Intense discomfort perhaps? As you are a person of compassion and learning you must be drawn back by doubt.

The Kerala Model is a quaint anachronism. The last LDF government left the State's finances in tatters. Headed by EK Nayanar (who made some very irresponsible public statements about violence against women) Kerala plunged into its worst financial crisis. The LDF has no solutions whatsoever to accelerate the economy. None of these worthies has come up with a single idea that is bearing fruit today.


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