18 December 2008

SCIENCE YESTERDAY



JAGADIS CHANDRA BOSE AND THE INDIAN RESPONSE TO WESTERN SCIENCE by Subrata Dasgupta

‘ ... an important examination of the science of Jagadis Chandra Bose ... Dasgupta distances his account from nationalist historiography ... His reading complements the histories and biographies that have emphasized the sociocultural history of science in India.’—Dhruv Raina in Isis

‘Scholars interested in science and society issues as well as lay readers will find the narrative fascinating.’—Deepak Kumar in The Book Review

‘ ... a book that has filled a void in the history of science in India.’—Prajit Basu in Science, Technology and Society

‘ ... a thorough, critical, dispassionate, objective and lucid synthesis of an enormous amount of information ... a valuable contribution to the history of science, especially Indian science.’—R.L. Bijlani in Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology

ISBN 81-7824-251-6 / Rs 350 / 320pp / Paperback / Spring 2009

SALAAM BOMBAY CINEMA


BOMBAY CINEMA: AN ARCHIVE OF THE CITY by Ranjani Mazumdar

"Mazumdar's experience as a filmmaker allowed her to offer significant readings of not just the narratives and character development in the films, but of the cinematography, mise-en-scene, and other technical and performance aspects of production. As scholar and filmmaker, Ranjani Mazumdar effectively combined her two disciplines in the book, which is accessible and useful to scholars of South Asia and film." Journal of Popular Culture

“This is not simply a book about how Bombay movies have re-presented the ambivalent site of the city in post-Independence India. More profoundly, Mazumdar is giving us an alternative history of Indian modernity, a history in which 'the urban experience' only comes fully into focus through the sensuous mediation of the popular cinema.” Visual Anthropology Review

“Mazumdar has a great capacity to discuss Indian cinema, with a brilliant grasp of its political, historical and aesthetic developments, but equally she is well attuned to the interests and ruptures in the academic discourse of film and cinema studies.” Film International

“Mazumdar develops her work thoroughly and consistently, such that contemporary Bombay cinema is easily accessible to the general reader and the academic scholar alike ... takes us through the cinematic city as character, as spectacle, as spatial dynamic, as performative motor and above all as an invaluable archive of urban experience in contemporary India.” The Book Review

"Departing from the obsession that Film Studies in India has displayed with the idea of cinema as a national allegory, the book convincingly argues for the need to examine the city's hidden archive as one that cannot be subsumed within the sign of the national." Biblio

“...an exciting and important contribution to a field that has, to date, been under researched and under theorized. Lively, provocative and richly suggestive, it will also serve as a surefire incentive to watch those films all over again”
Screen

"...at once about Hindi films, spatial practices, urban modernity and globalization...the strength of the book lies in bringing all of them together in a productive conversation.”
Economic and Political Weekly


“Here, at last, is a book [that] walks the streets where the films are set, looks at shop windows, publicity material, costumes, fashion, architecture, telecommunications and the concrete materiality that surrounds the film object.”
Seminar

“This is a fascinating book about the city of Bombay (now Mumbai) and its place and role in Indian cinema. Ranjani Mazumdar has provided us with a lucid picture of the city and its relationship with cinema ... a much needed contribution in understanding the role of Hindi films in the cinematic city. The book also challenges the idealisation of the Indian village as constructed by the Indian nationalist movement.” Information, Society, and Justice

"... a landmark study - carefully researched, well organized and offering refreshingly uncondescending and strikingly insightful discussions of mainstream films - that deserves to be read by anyone interested in India's popular cinema or its contemporary urban life." Journal of Asian Studies


Published August 2007 / hardback / 296PP / Rs 595 / ISBN 81-7824-205-2 / South Asia rights / Copublished by the University of Minnesota Press

12 December 2008

NEW LIGHT ON FORGOTTEN STATESMAN


GANDHI’S CONSCIENCE KEEPER
C. RAJAGOPALACHARI AND INDIAN POLITICS

by Vasanthi Srinivasan


'Dr Srinivasan’s study is a tour-de-force, exhibiting all the signs of a mature thinker who is confident of her intellectual and spiritual bearings' Peter Emberley

'This work will be widely appreciated and will also set off useful debates' Rajmohan Gandhi

Hailed by Mahatma Gandhi as his conscience keeper, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1878–1972; better known as Rajaji) epitomized the practical wisdom, religious tolerance, and statesmanship that Gandhi brought to the nationalist movement.

Vasanthi Srinivasan presents Rajaji’s vision as that of a theocentric liberal. Examining his political ideas and actions alongside his literary works, as well as in relation to statesmen-ideologues such as Nehru and Periyar, she shows how Rajaji steered clear of ideological dogma and charted an ethic of responsibility.

VASANTHI SRINIVASAN is a Reader in Political Science at the University of Hyderabad.

ISBN 81-7824-246-1 / Hardback / 290pp / Rs 695 / published in association with the New India Foundation / January 2009

20 September 2008

NEW BOOK BY TANIKA SARKAR


REBELS, WIVES, SAINTS
Designing Selves and Nations in Colonial Times
by TANIKA SARKAR


Tanika Sarkar’s writings on women, religion, and nationhood in the context of colonial Bengal have been pathbreaking. In this book, she again deploys to great effect her trademark focus on the small, the specific, and the emotive defining moment in history to arrive at larger, compelling pictures which show us how people actually felt and experienced life in that period.

The colonial universe outlined in this book centres around woman as both defiled and deified (woman as widow, woman as goddess); the nation as woman-goddess within a country comprising plural traditions; male reformers battling Hindu conservatives; a Hindu novelist idealizing nationalism as the demolition of Muslim symbols; male-dominant social norms threatening principles of softness and femininity; theatre and censorship; and the sometimes contrasting worldviews of Bankim and Rabindranath.

This accessible and enthralling book will consolidate Tanika Sarkar’s international reputation as one of India’s finest historians.

TANIKA SARKAR is the author of Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation (Permanent Black paperback, 2001). She has co-edited (with Sumit Sarkar) Women and Social Reform in Modern India (Permanent Black, 2008). She is currently professor of history at JNU, New Delhi, and has taught at the University of Chicago as well as at several campuses in the USA and Europe.

ISBN 81-7824-247-8 / Hardback / 356pp / Rs 695 / Publishing end 2008 / For sale in South Asia only

LETTERS FROM A CELL


Subhas Chandra Bose
IN BURMESE PRISONS: Correspondence May 1923 - July 1926

edited by Sisir K. Bose

Subhas Chandra Bose’s exile in Burmese prisons from 1924 to 1927 witnessed the transformation of a lieutenant into a leader. During the non-cooperation movement and its aftermath he had wholeheartedly accepted Deshbandhu Chitta Ranjan Das as his political mentor. The apprenticeship was cut short by Deshbandhu’s death in June 1925. When Subhas received this terrible news as a prisoner in Mandalay, he felt “desolate with a sense of bereavement”, as he wrote to his friend Dilip Kumar Roy.

Netaji’s letters cover a very wide array of topics—art, music, literature, nature, education, folk culture, civic affairs, criminology, spirituality, and, of course, politics. He bore the rigours of prison life with a combination of stoicism and humour.

This volume is indispensable to an understanding of India’s greatest revolutionary leader and will interest all historians of modern India.

ISBN 81-7824-250-8 / Paperback / 380pp / 4 b/w photos / Rs 350/ Publishing end 2008

06 September 2008

SEPTEMBER 2008 EVENTS



PERMANENT BLACK and THE INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE, NEW DELHI are
delighted to invite you to an illustrated talk on THE LIONS OF INDIA
by Dr Divyabhanusinh. The talk will take place at the India
International Centre, 40 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi, on Thursday, the
11th of September 2008, at 6.30 pm. It will be chaired by Dr Mahesh Rangarajan.

THE LIONS OF INDIA is published by Permanent Black and Black Kite, in
hardback, at Rs 395.

13 August 2008

FLOWER-EATERS


PUMPKIN FLOWER FRITTERS AND OTHER CLASSIC RECIPES FROM A BENGALI KITCHEN by Renuka Devi Choudhurani


THIS IS A BOOK FOR ANYONE WHO ENJOYS GOOD FOOD: THE COOKING OF IT, THE EATING OF IT, THE SHARING OF IT.


Some of these recipes have fed and delighted Jawaharlal Nehru and Sarojini Naidu. All of them have provided nourishment and comfort to generations of Bengali families. Now for the first time, these time-tested recipes are available in English.

Renuka Devi Choudhurani (1910–1985) was married off at the age of ten into a zamindari family. That was when her culinary education began, mainly from her father-in-law, but also from itinerant bawarchis and specialist cooks. As her interest in good food developed, she took to collecting and recording recipes. Ultimately, she published a two-volume Bengali work containing about 400 vegetarian and 300 fish- and meat-based recipes. From the simplest dal to the most elaborate biryani, her recipes are easy to follow, and produce delicious results.

This book contains a wide-ranging selection from the original Bengali work. It covers all the courses that might normally be served in a Bengali meal: starters, fritters, vegetables, lentils, rice, fish, meat, chutneys, dessert. Renuka Devi’s eloquent autobiographical introduction is also included here.

Paperback / Rs 295 / ISBN 81-7824-236-2 / A Black Kite Book / Publishing in November 2008

07 August 2008

BANNER HEADLINES


A NATIONAL FLAG FOR INDIA, by ARUNDHATI VIRMANI

"The long and difficult elaboration of the Indian national flag, the diverse and sometimes contrary expectations that built up around this object during half a century with their stakes profoundly rooted in the social world: these essential aspects of the historian’s work are masterfully unravelled in this book." Jacques Revel

Unearthing the complex history of the making of the Indian national flag, Arundhati Virmani reveals cultural processes that imposed a set of values and sentiments on an incredibly diverse and scattered body of people. She shows that the Indian flag had strong roots in the ethos of colonialism. It was a major resource for the nationalist movement, a tool that allowed large social diversities to assert the compelling necessity for a new political culture with secular nationalism as the unifying pole. This viewpoint was contested by the Muslim League, the Sikhs, the Indian princes, and Hindu nationalists. So how, in the end, did the Indian flag come to fly as it does today? And how, in contrast, was the flag of Pakistan created?

ARUNDHATI VIRMANI was Reader in History at Delhi University until 1992, when she moved to France, where she teaches at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales Marseille. She has published an essay in Past and Present, as well as two books.

HARDBACK / ISBN 81-7824-232-1 / 370pp + 4pp in colour / Rs 750 / Publishing in October 2008

RAMACHANDRA GUHA BATS FOR PERMANENT BLACK



Ramachandra Guha once said he writes on history for a living and on cricket to live. The States of Indian Cricket marries the craft of history to the life of cricket in India and is described by its author as ‘the product of a lifelong addiction to the most sophisticated sport known to mankind.’

Guha draws upon the memories of several generations of cricket lovers to give us wonderful sketches of India’s cricketers, the forgotten as well as the famous: from C.K. Nayudu and Vinoo Mankad to Saurav Ganguly and Anil Kumble. Using the device of imaginary all-time India Elevens, he provides rich insights into the cities and states in which Indian cricket was forged.

We thus have here, for the first time within the covers of a single volume, an informal, anecdotal, and immensely readable history of Indian cricket, a book which complements Guha’s celebrated work on the sport’s social history, A Corner of a Foreign Field (2002).

Ramachandra Guha
is one of India’s most distinguished historians and biographers. His many awards and distinctions include the Daily Telegraph/Cricket Society Book Award and the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History. His most recent book is the widely acclaimed India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy.

ISBN 81-7824-241-9 / Rs 295 / paperback / 320pp / Published in Sept 08 / A Black Kite book

Music in paperback


RAGA 'N JOSH: STORIES FROM A MUSICAL LIFE 
by Sheila Dhar

This book is a classic. The hardback edition sold out three printings and has been replaced by this Black Kite paperback. 

Sheila Dhar’s stories, essays, and memoirs include Begum Akhtar, Siddheshwari Bai, Fayyaz and Niaz Ahmed Khan, Kesar Bai Kerkar, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and Bhimsen Joshi. No writer has ever conveyed the ethos of this world and the quirks of its denizens with such wit, irreverence, perceptiveness, and empathy.

As a part of Delhi’s political elite, Sheila Dhar is also inimitably observant about celebrities as diverse as Indira Gandhi, the economist Joan Robinson, the film director Richard Attenborough, and Her Supreme Royal Highness the Queen of Tonga who, when asked what she does in her spare time, says with regal common sense, 'I just bees.'

Incisive intelligence, self-deprecating humour, and an original propensity to manipulate the English language for Indian contexts combine to make this book an absolute delight.

SHEILA DHAR (1929–2001) studied at Hindu College, Delhi, and obtained her MA in English (summa cum laude) from Boston University. She was a renowned storyteller, musician, and authority on Hindustani classical music.

ISBN 81-7824-244-3 / Rs 295 / 320pp / paperback / Published end 2008 / A Black Kite book

Garden Notes


A SAHIB'S MANUAL FOR THE MALI by ALICK PERCY-LANCASTER, edited by Laeeq Futehally

Amateur gardeners and those who like gardens but cannot tell phlox from petunia: Alick Percy-Lancaster’s delightful guide is for everyone. It explains not only the What and the How but also the all-important Why. Even as he dispenses practical gardening tips, the leisurely charm of Percy-Lancaster’s writing evokes an India far away and long ago.

He takes us through garden work month by month: follow his advice, and whatever space you have—terrace or balcony, kitchen window or rambling lawn—will be full of leaf and flower.


Alick Percy-Lancaster
was the last Englishman to hold the post of Superintendent of Horticultural Operations, Government of India. After Independence, his chores included maintaining 15,000 avenue trees on roads and clipping 150 miles of hedges.


ISBN 81-7824-242-7 / Rs 250 / 230pp / paperback published end 2008 / A Black Kite book

18 July 2008

NEW IN PAPERBACK


THE INDISPENSABLE VIVEKANANDA: An Anthology for Our Times

edited by AMIYA P. SEN



A hundred years after Swami Vivekananda’s oratory, essays, and philosophical writings offered substantial modifications and refinements to modern Hinduism, he remains a key figure in any proper understanding of the religion of India’s largest majority. This anthology showcases those aspects of Vivekananda that seem indispensable even today.

In his Introduction, the editor provides, first, a general introduction to the life and work of the Swami; and second, a critical appraisal of the various aspects of his social and philosophical ideas.

The second half of the book contains selections from Vivekananda’s writings organised around topics dealing with ‘Contemporary India and her Problems’, ‘Religion and the Human Revolution’, ‘Vedanta and the Future of Mankind’, and ‘The Spiritual Ends of Man’. A list of suggested readings concludes this volume.

AMIYA P. SEN is Tagore Professor, Rabindra Bharati, Santiniketan. He is the author of Hindu Revivalism in Bengal: Some Essays in Interpretation (1993); Swami Vivekananda (2000); Three Essays on Sri Ramakrishna and His Times (2001); and, as editor, Social and Religious Reform: The Hindus of British India (2003).

ISBN 81-7824-239-7 / 250pp / Rs 295 / July 2008

09 July 2008

THE MAKING OF BOOKS


MOVEABLE TYPE: Book History in India
edited by ABHIJIT GUPTA and SWAPAN CHAKRAVORTY



Book history is an emerging discipline in India. Moveable Type brings together a wider variety of the best recent work on the subject, combining compilation of primary data with rigorous historical analysis. Contributions range from a magisterial history of censorship in colonial India to reflections on the social construction of texts. Several essays focus on the study of historically symptomatic cases, such as the making of a Tamil encyclopaedia and the special number of a Hindi periodical. This collection is the latest in a series that promises to be an indispensable resource for future research in history, literature, textual scholarship, editorial theory, and cultural studies.



Hardback / 270pp / Rs 595 / ISBN 81-7824-217-6 / October 08

THE POLITICS OF WORK


CAPITAL, INTERRUPTED: Agrarian Development and the Politics of Work in India by VINAY GIDWANI


"Capital, Interrupted provides a thoughtful and compelling study of the convoluted ways in which capital operates in the modern world. Gidwani illustrates his theoretical points with examples from fieldwork in one sub-district of Gujarat, all carried out with great sensitivity." David Hardiman, Professor of History, University of Warwick

“In Capital, Interrupted social theory combines felicitously with rigorous empirical analysis, and the result is narrated in thoughtful and elegant prose. The colonial lineages of development, and the emergence of Lewa Patel agrarian capitalists as economic and cultural forces in the Gujarat countryside are presented with an expository flair uncommon in scholarly writing. Vinay Gidwani has brilliantly elucidated the way both work and development came to be understood in social and political theory, and in modern Indian history, by the end of the last millennium.” K. Sivaramakrishnan, Professor of Anthropology, Yale University

Hardback / 368pp / Rs 750 / ISBN 81-7824-245-1 / September 08 / For sale in South Asia only / Copublished by the University of Minnesota Press

13 May 2008

AUGUST 2008: NEW BOOK FROM AMIT CHAUDHURI


CLEARING A SPACE: REFLECTIONS ON INDIA, LITERATURE AND CULTURE, by Amit Chaudhuri

To the many admirers of his fiction, Amit Chaudhuri seems all the more remarkable because of the excellence and accessibility of his non-fiction. Clearing a Space brings together many of Chaudhuri’s best essays, written over the past decade in journals such as the London Review of Books and the Times Literary Supplement. This body of his work has been widely praised and reveals a literary project of great value in understanding Indian and global modernity.

‘This extraordinary and wide-ranging collection, through a series of highly-focused aper├žus, puts in question the key terms of self-understanding of much modern literature. This and much else makes this book a treasure trove of acute and thought-provoking perceptions.’ Charles Taylor

‘Amit Chaudhuri...asks hard questions of himself as well as others, and he engages us as readers with the warmth and acuity of his observations across a wonderful range of writing.’ Gillian Beer

‘... a wonderful key to the understanding of the vitality and specificity of Indian modernity and of the modern transformation of Indian civilization...worth the serious attention of scholars in the social sciences as well as the humanities.’ Shmuel Eisenstadt

‘Whether making music or writing prose, Amit Chaudhuri offers a distinctive spiritual history of modernity. These collected meditations—which are as elegantly fastidious as they are intellectually adventurous—confirm him as one of our most provocative and consistently interesting artists.’ Pankaj Mishra

A BLACK KITE BOOK / ISBN 81-7824-237-0 / Rs 395 / 325pp / Hardback / August 2008 / For sale in South Asia only / Copublished with Peter Lang

NEW IN PAPERBACK!


THE SCANDAL OF EMPIRE: INDIA AND THE CREATION OF IMPERIAL BRITAIN, by Nicholas B. Dirks

‘This is a brilliant work of historical excavation … Dirks shows that, contrary to the imperialist ideologues then as now, the scandals of conquest, violence, and oppression were at its center, not its incidental sideshow. Civilizing the “native” necessarily entailed the practice of barbarism, the assertion of imperial sovereignty required the exercise of despotism.’ Gyan Prakash

‘…this lucid and masterful interpretive essay serves as a timely reminder that modern empires, caught in ideological contradictions of their own making, are fundamentally unpleasant, oppressive, and immoral formations. A stimulating contribution to contemporary debates.’ Dipesh Chakrabarty

ISBN 81-7824-238-9 / Rs 395 / Copublished with Harvard University Press / For sale in South Asia only

CINEMA AND SECULARISM


LIMITING SECULARISM: THE ETHICS OF COEXISTENCE IN INDIAN LITERATURE AND FILM by Priya Kumar

Limiting Secularism is a book for our times. Though scrupulously specific to the context of post-Independence India—and invaluable for that reason—its provocations resonate well beyond the boundaries of the unique nation-space. Working through but pushing well beyond the secularism debates in India, Kumar asks the vital question that few have as yet attempted: what vision and modality of the ethical life will enable those of opposed faiths to live well together?

A work of this kind is not undertaken lightly. Kumar’s assumption of responsibility is everywhere apparent in the seriousness with which she engages the reality of religious violence at multiple levels, theoretical, historical and critical, as the urgent reason for exploring the imaginative possibilities of living otherwise. Intellectual work at such a level of challenge and commitment does nothing less than open the doors of the mind.” Rajeswari Sunder Rajan

"Limiting Secularism is part of the emerging discourse on rethinking secularism in the wake of fundamentalisms of all stripes. Priya Kumar’s cogent, historically grounded, theoretically sophisticated, comparative readings of South Asian literary texts and films makes a significant contribution to contemporary cultural engagements with religion, cosmopolitanism, secularism, and ethics. Kumar’s book is truly superlative in terms of the writing—the clarity, the fluidity, the effortlessness with which dense material is presented is quite an accomplishment.” Sangeeta Ray

ISBN 81-7824-234-6 / Rs 695 / 320pp / hardback / published May 2008 / Co-published by the University of Minnesota Press / For sale in South Asia only

MEERA KOSAMBI'S THIRD BOOK WITH PERMANENT BLACK



FEMINIST VISION OR 'TREASON AGAINST MEN'? Kashibai Kanitkar and the Engendering of Marathi Literature


edited and translated by
Meera Kosambi



Kashibai Kanitkar (1861–1948) was the first major woman writer in Marathi. She was largely self-taught and keenly conscious of the benefits of women’s education. She promoted this and other emancipatory measures for women through her prolific and wide-ranging writings—both fiction and non-fiction—deploying them as a mode of social reform discourse.

The present book includes translations of most of Kashibai’s works: both her novels (in abridged form); a review of Pandita Ramabai’s American travelogue; long extracts from Kashibai’s episodic autobiographical narrative as well as from her biography of India’s first woman doctor, Dr Anandibai Joshee; and an article tracing the history of women’s education in Maharashtra.

A comprehensive introduction by Meera Kosambi contextualizes these texts and situates Kashibai within her social and literary milieu.

Rs 595/ hardback / 390pp / ISBN 81-7824-216-8

12 May 2008

THE BIRTH OF A CLASSICAL TRADITION


NEW IN PAPERBACK!

TWO MEN AND MUSIC: NATIONALISM IN THE MAKING OF AN INDIAN CLASSICAL TRADITION by Janaki Bakhle

“A pioneering book that helps to relocate the towering Hindu nationalists Bhatkhande and Paluskar—from the restricted world of music grammarians to the wider social history of colonial India. A very important contribution.” Partho Datta

“Janaki Bakhle’s book opens up a completely new area of research in modern South Asian history. This pioneering history of the making of modern North Indian classical music is exemplary for the very fine sense of balance with which it holds together both respect and criticism for the past it so brilliantly restores.” Dipesh Chakrabarty

Rs 350 / 350pp / paperback / ISBN 81-7824-235-4 / for sale in South Asia only / Copublished by Oxford University Press, New York

14 March 2008

A NEW BLACK KITE



THE LIONS OF INDIA, a collection edited by Divyabhanusinh

Lions are associated mainly with the African grasslands. Few people know that in India they once roamed the plains of Haryana and Punjab, wandered as far as Bihar in the east and above the Narmada in the south, and walked the grasslands and scrub forests around Delhi. Today, the Asiatic lion has been reduced to one tiny population in a single forest of Gujarat.

Has the Asiatic lion been so spectacularly unfortunate because it is not secretive enough to survive hunters and poachers? Is its survival the outcome of one prince’s efforts? Could a single epidemic wipe it out forever?

This book celebrates an animal whose magnificent beauty has been the cause of its tragic destiny. The earliest extract included here dates from 1884 and is about shikar; the newest, written in 2008, analyses the implications of politics for the lion’s survival. Some pieces charm and entertain with their vivid literary style and their close observation of nature; others explain population patterns and genetic reduction. The editor’s erudite Introduction provides a historical overview.

Hardback / ISBN 81-7824-213-3 / 275 pp / Rs 395 / A BLACK KITE BOOK

LANDSCAPES AND THE LAW



LANDSCAPES AND THE LAW: ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS, REGIONAL HISTORIES, AND CONTESTS OVER NATURE by Gunnel Cederlof



Landscapes and the Law
is situated at the crossroads of environmental, colonial, and legal history. It examines the role of law in consolidating early colonial rule from the perspective of people’s access to nature in forests and hill tracts. It is concerned thus with the social history of legal processes and the making of law.

The book is focused equally on the multitude of colliding claims to land and resources, and the complex ways by which customary rights in nature are redefined and codified for the purpose of securing and legitimizing colonial sovereign rule.

Hardback / 316 pp / ISBN 81-7824-208-7 / Rs 695 / World rights

PEASANT PASTS



PEASANT PASTS: HISTORY, POLITICS, AND NATIONALISM IN GUJARAT by Vinayak Chaturvedi


Peasant Pasts is an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to writing histories of peasant politics, nationalism, and colonialism. Vinayak Chaturvedi’s analysis provides an important intervention in the social and cultural history of India by examining the nature of peasant discourses and practices during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Through rigorous archival study and fieldwork, Chaturvedi shows that peasants in Gujarat were active in the production and circulation of political ideas, establishing critiques of the state and society while promoting complex understandings of political community. He argues that nationalists in Gujarat established power through the use of coercion and violence, as they imagined a nation in which they could dominate social relations.

Hardback / 324 pp / ISBN 7824-226-2 / Rs 695 / South Asia rights only / Co-published with the University of California Press.

22 January 2008

BIRTH CONTROL AND WOMEN



REPRODUCTIVE RESTRAINTS: BIRTH CONTROL IN INDIA, 1877-1947
by Sanjam Ahluwalia


Reproductive Restraints traces the history of contraception use and population management in colonial India, while illuminating its connection to contemporary debates in India and birth control movements in Great Britain and the United States.

Sanjam Ahluwalia draws attention to the interactive and relational history of Indian birth control by including Western activists such as Margaret Sanger and Marie Stopes alongside important Indian campaigners. In revealing the elitist politics of middle-class feminists, Indian nationalists, Western activists, colonial authorities, and the medical establishment Ahluwalia finds that they all sought to rationalize procreation and regulate women while invoking competing notions of freedom, femininity, and family.

Ahluwalia’s remarkable interviews with practising midwives in rural northern India fill a gaping void in the documentary history of birth control and show that the movement has had little appeal to non-elite groups.

266 pp / Rs 595 / Hardback / ISBN 81-7824-229-X / For sale in South Asia only / Copublished by the University of Illinois Press / April 2008.

MERCHANTS, TRADERS, ENTREPRENEURS


MERCHANTS, TRADERS, ENTREPRENEURS: INDIAN BUSINESS IN THE COLONIAL ERA by Claude Markovits

The merchant world represents a relatively neglected area in South Asian history. Merchants were important actors in the economic, political, social, and cultural life of India, and deserve more attention than they have been given. This book bridges that gap by bringing together a number of issues which deal with the Indian mercantile world in colonial India, and its relationship with politics and society.

Written by one of the major contributors to the socio-economic history of modern India, this book will interest all South Asianists, students of colonialism, and historians of Indian economy and society over the past two centuries.

300 pp / Rs 695 / Hardback / ISBN 81-7824-188-9 / For sale in South Asia only / Copublished by Palgrave Macmillan, London / Published in April 2008.

INDIAN SECULARISM


INDIAN SECULARISM: A SOCIAL AND INTELLECTUAL HISTORY 1890-1950 by Shabnum Tejani

Secularism has been the subject of much debate. Scholars have argued that recent Hindu nationalism is the symptom of a crisis of Indian secularism and have blamed this on a resurgence of religion or communalism. Shabnum Tejani argues here for a more complex and historically informed understanding. Her book is a history of how the idea of secularism emerged in India.

This book will interest all students of Indian democracy, politics, and history, as well as of political philosophy and the sociology of caste.

320 pp / Rs 695 / Hardback / ISBN 81-7824-212-5/ For sale in South Asia only / Copublished by Indiana University Press / Published in Summer 2008.