Journal Article

Special Issue

Standing on the Threshold: Food Justice in India

Published on 15 July 2012

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India stands on the threshold of potentially the largest step toward food justice the world has ever seen, as the National Food Security Bill works its way through parliament with a view to being passed during its current term period, covering about 70 per cent of households. This special IDS Bulletin, co-constructed with Oxfam India, brings together the views and opinions of some of India’s leading practitioner-thinkers to infuse debates such as; how to ensure the marginalised are not excluded from nutrition programmes and that their land and mineral rights are protected? How to improve farm productivity to empower women; to stimulate agriculture in the context of a changing climate; to ensure that India’s claims to climate justice in the international arena are not undermined by domestic injustices; how to claim the agrarian agenda and prioritise rain-fed agriculture? How to assess government commitments to reducing hunger; and to address food price inflation and volatility? How to make nutrition issues more newsworthy?

This issue contributes to the discourse and energy around solving food injustice. Food justice is best claimed by activist civil society, leveraging the law courts and the court of public opinion. Policymaking and programme implementation must be guided by, and codify, food rights. Evidence must be called upon to help resolve dilemmas and guide action. Complacency must not be tolerated – even rights that have been claimed can be eroded – and ordinary people must be at the heart of the debate about what food justice means, how to attain it, and how to sustain it.

Foreword Olivier De Schutter


Overview. Standing on the Threshold: Food Justice in India Lawrence Haddad, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Biraj Swain

Hunger and Malnutrition in India N.C. Saxena

Food from the Courts: The Indian Experience Harsh Mander


Elimination of Identity-based Discrimination in Food and Nutrition Programmes in India Rajendra P. Mamgain and G. Dilip Diwakar

Who do ICDS and PDS Exclude and What Can be Done to Change This? Biraj Swain and M. Kumaran

Priority Changes for Strengthening Women’s Role as Producers, Processors and Providers of Food and Nutrition Amita Shah

How Best to Ensure Adivasis’ Land, Forest and Mineral Rights? Felix Padel

Food and Nutrition Justice: How to Make it More Newsworthy? Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Subi Chaturvedi

Measuring Political Commitment to Reducing Hunger and Under-nutrition: Can it be Done and Will it Help? Dolf J.H. te Lintelo


Food Price Levels and Volatility: Sources, Impact and Implications C.P. Chandrasekhar

How Can India Help Prevent Food Price Volatility? M.S. Swaminathan and Swarna S. Vepa

Large-scale Investments in Agriculture in India R. Ramakumar

Revitalising Agriculture in Eastern India: Investment and Policy Priorities Nilachala Acharya and Subrat Das

Adapting Smallholder Agriculture to Climate Change G.V. Ramanjaneyulu

India’s Climate Policy: Squaring the Circle D. Raghunandan


Lawrence Haddad

Honorary Associate

Publication details

published by
Haddad, L., Chandrasekhar, C. and Swain, B.
IDS Bulletin, volume Special Issue


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