Projects in South Asia

Find here details on ongoing as well as concluded projects in all of our three main working areas.

 Labour

During the last years India’s economy made a giant leap: Many sectors have boomed, what leads to a remarkable development and economic dynamics especially in urban areas. In many regions of the country agriculture is no longer profitable and many people are forced to leave their homes in order to sustain their livelihood.

 Society

How relevant is Marxist thought for us today? The annual international conferences organised by the South Asian University and RLS are devoted to discussing this question and strengthening networks of people from the left political spectrum.

 

 Labour

In rural India, shrinking gains from agriculture forces more and more farmers to look for alternative sources of income. Outside the harvest season, many of them migrate to urban hubs with high hopes, only to find insecure jobs under precarious conditions. Our project partners Prayas and Kislay support migrants as well as their dependents in asserting their constitutionally granted rights. 

 Society

Despite laws to protect marginalised groups in India, such as Muslims or Dalits (formally known as ‘Untouchables’), they still face widespread discrimination in India. Especially with regard to economic status, they live in poverty being affected by discrimination on the labour market.

 

 Society

Gender issues have increasingly become part of the Indian public debate in the last years. Despite growing public support for women’s rights, gender inequality remains strongly reinforced by patriarchal societal structures and social norms.

 

 Labour

Every year, millions of people in India leave their villages in order to find work in urban areas. Often, they belong to the most deprived and vulnerable social groups. Together with the Society for Labour and Development, RLS supports migrant workers in asserting their rights.

 Agriculture

India’s small-scale farmers are increasingly under stress: shrinking cultivable land, large corporations dominating seed and pesticide markets as well as the effects of climate change make it more and more difficult for Indian farmers to sustain themselves. With the support of RLS, Agragamee develops alternative modes farming with Odisha’s Adivasi communities to achieve food sovereignty and sustainable resource management.

 Society

Despite considerable economic growth in recent years, many of India’s citizens still struggle to get access to basic public goods. Our partner, the Centre for Equity Studies, examines how state institutions fail to provide equal access to necessities like healthcare, sanitation and safe working conditions. Which groups are especially vulnerable to exclusion? How do different dimensions of exclusion reinforce each other? 

 Agriculture

Workshop on forest rights, Rayagada District (Photo: RLS)

More than one fifth of Odisha’s population belongs to different Adivasi communities and the majority of them live below the poverty line. Being mostly dependent on small-scale farming and forest resources, they are especially vulnerable environmental changes. Together with Adivasi communities, RLS’s partner Living Farms develops alternative, sustainable farming methods to strengthen their food sovereignty.

 Society

Welcome to India!

For a long time, India did not pay much attention to its eastern neighbours and had a difficult relationship with China. Since the late 1990s however, India has begun to increase its engagement and seeks to foster strategic relations with countries in South East Asia. This “Look East” policy aims at strengthening India’s position as a regional power and providing a counterweight to the influence of China. Our project is looking at consequences and outcomes from this policy for South Asia.

 Agriculture

Women in rural areas have especially felt the ramifications of globalisation and economic liberalisation. The research on women in agriculture, however, does not reflect the complex changes that are occurring with respect to their work and livelihood. In order to close this gap, the Foundation of Agrarian Studies is conducting a project that looks at the role of women in rural production systems in India.

 Society

The Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal have seen the emergence of various socio-political movements during the second part of the 20th century. Although many of them decisively influenced the course of Indian politics, the social context which allowed them to emerge is still poorly understood. A project funded by RLS and carried out by the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (CRG) aims to change this.

Marxism is a revolutionary worldview that must always struggle for new revelations. Marxism must abhor nothing so much as the possibility that it becomes congealed in its current form. It is at its best when butting heads in self-criticism, and in historical thunder and lightning, it retains its strength.

Rosa Luxemburg