31 August 2019

What it is to be a Conscious Person in Community


When first published in 1976, Ramchandra Gandhi’s The Availability of Religious Ideas was described thus by John Hick, Professor of Theology at Birmingham University: “This is an unusual and a genuinely original book . . . on the basic problem of our existence as persons in community. The author embodies both the spiritual tradition of India (for something of the spirit of his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, is powerfully present in his outlook) and the intellectual tradition of the West (for he holds an Oxford doctorate . . . ) With this double focus he explores philosophically, and in a way which shows the influence of Wittgenstein, what it is to be a conscious person in community and shows how the religious ideas of the soul, of God, prayer, immortality, the mystical and miraculous are generated by a kind of moral necessity . . .”

This reprint includes a new Introduction by the eminent philosopher Arindam Chakrabarti (currently Professor at Stony Brook University), who knew Ramchandra Gandhi and is an admirer of his work.


Ramchandra Gandhi (1937–2007) was a student of Peter Strawson’s at Oxford, from where he obtained his D.Phil. He taught philosophy at the University of Hyderabad, the University of Rajasthan, the University of Southampton, Visva-Bharati, and Delhi University. His books include Presuppositions of Human Communication, Two Essays on Whitehead’s Philosophic Approach, and Sita’s Kitchen, a Testimony of Faith.

Paperback/ Rs 350

28 August 2019

MEDIEVAL HINDUISM IN THE MODERN HIMALAYA

Hinduism, as is well known, has taken a multitude of shapes and forms. Some Hindu “little traditions” have remained obscure or under-studied to this day on account of their regional remoteness.

One such offshoot is the influential cult of Mahasu, which has existed since medieval times in a part of the western Himalaya. The deity at the core of the cult takes the form of four primary Mahasus with territorial influence, installed in various far-flung temples. Their geographical centre is the village of Hanol, and the larger territory is integrated to the Mahasu politico-religious system by a peripatetic deity with loyal followers across a considerable domain.

Mahasu remains influential in the region, its ritual practices having remained quite distinct despite social change. An anthropological survey was conducted in its terrain during British times, but Lokesh Ohri’s book is the first to offer a detailed framework, a fine-grained history, and an analytically nuanced understanding of one of the rarest branches of Hindu worship.

This book will seem invaluable to those seeking to understand the anthropology of religion and the diversity of Hindu belief and practice.

“A fascinating piece of work. I have learned a lot and feel honoured, almost initiated, to have had such a knowledgeable guide to the Mahasus, their realm and the devta ka kaam”
JOHN KEAY, author of The Great Arc

“A fascinating book about a fascinating topic. Mahasu Devta was — and in many respects still is — the most powerful local deity in the Western Himalayas. The history of his cult tells us a great deal about Himalayan culture and religion, about relations between Paharis, the colonial regime, and about how the hills have changed in the course of modernisation . . . Lokesh Ohri tells this story with verve and style”
WILLIAM S. SAX, author of Mountain Goddess




LOKESH OHRI is an anthropologist and activist who has worked for several years in the Himalaya. He was a doctoral fellow at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany and has worked on political rituals, heritage and resource use in the mountains.
He is currently working on an extensive documentation of the river Ganges from source to mouth.


PAPERBACK/ RS 795/ FOR SALE IN SOUTH ASIA ONLY

04 August 2019

INDIAN MIGRATION AND EMPIRE

How did states come to monopolize control over migration? What do the processes that produced this monopoly tell us about the modern state? 

"Mongia has written a pathbreaking book. In the wake of this work it will no longer be possible to tell the story of border-making without a scrutiny of how human labor was dehumanized on an imperial and global scale" H-net


"Mongia’s book is a methodological tour de force in migration studies and theories of the state. But the commendable feat of this book is that these accomplishments do not stand apart – her contribution to migration studies is enriched by the careful theorising of states, at once colonial, transcolonial and metropolitan" Wire

"Mongia’s account is a fresh, fascinating explanation of the intricacies of migration and its impact on host-countries, nation-state and bureaucratic development, and at the heart of it all, the emigrant" International Social Science Review

It is also reviewed in the Journal of International and Global Studies and in Economic and Political Weekly


In Indian Migration and Empire Radhika Mongia provocatively argues that the formation of colonial migration regulations was dependent upon, accompanied by, and generative of profound changes in normative conceptions of the modern state.
Focused on state regulation of colonial Indian migration between 1834 and 1917, Mongia illuminates the genesis of central techniques of migration control. She shows how important elements of current migration regimes, including the notion of state sovereignty as embodying the authority to control migration, the distinction between free and forced migration, the emergence of passports, the formation of migration bureaucracies, and the incorporation of kinship relations into migration logics, are the product of complex debates that attended colonial migrations. By charting how state control of migration was critical to the transformation of a world dominated by empire-states into a world dominated by nation-states, Mongia challenges positions that posit a stark distinction between the colonial state and the modern state to trace aspects of their entanglements.

RADHIKA MONGIA is Associate Professor of Sociology and faculty in the Graduate Programs of Sociology, Political Science, Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, and Social and Political Thought at York University, Toronto.


Indian Migration and Empire is a highly original, compelling, and superbly crafted work that thoroughly reveals the racialized foundations of the modern state. Given the contemporary debates about the relationship between migration, the state, and race—whether in relation to Europe’s refugee crisis or the exclusionary immigration politics of Donald Trump's America—this book could not be more relevant or timely”
SRIRUPA ROY
Professor of State and Democracy, University of Göttingen

“Scholars have long claimed that modernity’s signature—the nation-state—is the consequence of imperial power. In this sweeping history of the territoriality of the western state system, Radhika Mongia offers new analytical paradigms for understanding the relationship between national sovereignty and colonial labor. A corrective to facile transnational arguments and a rigorous case for the management of migration as the genealogical heart of modern western state formation, Indian Migration and Empire roots modern European state practices in mobile bodies and the regulatory regimes they provoked”
ANTOINETTE BURTON
Catherine C. and Bruce A. Bastian Professor of Global
and Transnational Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

HB| Rs 695