Episode 298: The Life and Work of Ashwini Deshpande

Her pioneering work has helped us understand how caste and gender remain huge problems in India. But her past goes beyond numbers, into a rich history of aajobas and aajis and theatre and song. Ashwini Deshpande joins Amit Varma in episode 298 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how she used her economist’s gaze to understand our social problems — and how films and music also played their part.

Also check out:
1. Ashwini Deshpande on TwitterAshokaGoogle ScholarAmazon and her own website.
2. The Grammar of Caste — Ashwini Deshpande.
3. Why are Indian Women not employed? — Ashwini Deshpande’s talk for Manthan.
4. What Women Do: Is it even “work”? — A seminar by Ashwini Deshpande at Ashoka.
5.  The New Grammar of Caste — Ashwini Deshpande’s talk at JNU.
6. Gender and Caste Discrimination and Affirmative Action in India — Ashwini Deshpande speaks to Shruti Rajagopalan on the Ideas of India podcast.
7. Caste, Capitalism and Chandra Bhan Prasad — Episode 296 of The Seen and the Unseen.
8. Select episodes of The Seen and the Unseen that discussed gender with Shrayana BhattacharyaParomita VohraKavita KrishnanUrvashi ButaliaNamita BhandareManjima BhattacharjyaMahima Vashisht and Alice Evans.
9. Amit Varma’s tweet with Ashwini Deshpande’s viral and potentially award-winning vocal performance.
10. Archaeology and the Public Purpose — Nayanjot Lahiri.
11. Rahimatpur: Town along the Kamandalu — GP Deshpande.
12. Satyashodhak (out-of-print book) (YouTube) — GP Deshpande.
13. Uddhwasta Dharmashala (Marathi) (English)– GP Deshpande.
14. Thelma and Louise — Ridley Scott.
15. Jyoti SubhashAmruta SubhashNaseeruddin ShahOm PuriEbrahim AlkaziRohini HattangadiJayadev HattangadiManohar SinghSai ParanjpyeArun JoglekarShriram Lagoo and Amol Palekar.
16. Ghashiram Kotwal — Vijay Tendulkar.
17. Jai Santoshi Maa — Vijay Sharma.
18. English Vinglish — Gauri Shinde.
19. Satyajit Ray and Manmohan Desai.
20. Qurbani — Feroz Khan.
21. Dance Dance For the Halva Waala — Episode 294 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Jai Arjun Singh and Subrat Mohanty).
22. Dance Dance — Babbar Subhash.
23. Aagaya Aagaya Halwa Wala — Song from Dance Dance.
24. Ek Aur Ek Gyarah — David Dhawan.
25. Baba Sehgal and ML Sondhi.
26. The Man Who Resides in Music — PL Deshpande on Malikarjun Mansur, translated by Ashwini Deshpande.
27. Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy — Episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen.
28. Chhoti Si Baat — Basu Chatterjee.
29. Raj Kumar’s famous dialogue from Waqt.
30. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande and Manik Bhide.
31. Yuval Noah Harari on Amazon.
32. The Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.
33. Womaning in India With Mahima Vashisht — Episode 293 of The Seen and the Unseen.
34. Kaushik Basu and AmazonTwitterWikipedia and his own website.
35. Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? — Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan.
36. Race At Work: Realities of Race and Criminal Record in the NYC Job Market — Devah Pager and Bruce Western.
37. Walking the Talk? What Employers Say Versus What They Do — Devah Pager and Lincoln Quillian.
38. The Economics of Discrimination — Gary Becker.
39. How Gary Becker Saw the Scourge of Discrimination — Kevin Murphy.
40. The Theory of Discrimination — Kenneth Arrow.
41. What Has Economics to Say About Racial Discrimination? — Kenneth Arrow.
42. Who gains from the new Maternity Benefit Act Amendment? — Devika Kher.
43. Here’s What’s Wrong With the Maternity Benefits Act — Suman Joshi.
44. Who is the Identifiable Victim?: Caste Interacts with Sympathy in India — Ashwini Deshpande and Dean Spears.
45. Identifiable victim effect.
46. Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study — Thomas Sowell.
47. Dominant or Backward? Political Economy of the Demand for Quotas by Jats, Patels and Marathas — Ashwini Deshpande and Rajesh Ramachandran.
48. (In)Visibility, Care and Cultural Barriers: The Size and Shape of Women’s Work in India — Ashwini Deshpande and Naila Kabeer.
49. Norms that matter — Ashwini Deshpande and Naila Kabeer.
50. The gendered effects of droughts — Farzana Afridi, Kanika Mahajan and Nikita Sangwan.
51. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Gendered Division of Paid and Unpaid Work — Ashwini Deshpande.
52. Women’s Work in India: Evidence from changes in time use between 1998 and 2019 — Nicholas Li.
53. Dropping Out, Being Pushed Out or Can’t Get in? Decoding Declining Labour Force Participation of Indian Women — Ashwini Deshpande and Jitendra Singh.
54. Women at Work — Episode 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare).
55. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman — Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya).
56. The Refreshing Audacity of Vinay Singhal — Episode 291 of The Seen and the Unseen.
57. Metrics of Empowerment — Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Devika Kher, Nidhi Gupta & Hamsini Hariharan).
58. We Should Celebrate Rising Divorce Rates (2008) — Amit Varma.
59. Elite Imitation in Public Policy — Episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok).
60. Fixing Indian Education — Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan).
61. Understanding Indian Healthcare — Episode 225 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan).
62. Karthik Muralidharan Examines the Indian State — Episode 290 of The Seen and the Unseen.
63. Ret Samadhi — Geetanjali Shree.
64. Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya — Mohammed Rafi song from Hum Dono.
65. Court — Chaitanya Tamhane.
66. The Disciple — Chaitanya Tamhane.
67. Line of Duty, Downton AbbeyBridgertonShetlandThe Good Wife, The Good Fight and Giri/Haji.
68. The Good Doctor — Damon Galgut.
69. Gangubai Kathiawadi — Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

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Episode art: ‘Patriarchy’ by Simahina.