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Showing posts from May, 2007


GANDHI IS GONE. WHO WILL GUIDE US NOW? Nehru, Prasad, Azad, Vinoba, Kripalani, JP, and Others Introspect, Sevagram, March 1948 Translated by Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Rupert Snell As India became free on 15 August 1947, and Jawaharlal Nehru became the first prime minister of the country, the larger ‘Gandhi family’, comprising the political and non-political associates of the Mahatma, needed to think through their future equations. The Mahatma had planned a discussion on this and, in his meticulous manner, identified the venue and date for the meeting, which he intended to attend in Sevagram on 2 February 1948. 30 January 1948 intervened. Gandhi was assassinated. But thanks primarily to Rajendra Prasad and Vinoba Bhave, the proposed conference did take place. Published here for the first time sixty years on, the discussions of that conference remain amazingly pertinent, stimulating, and challenging today. This book is indispensable for anyone interested in Gandhi, his legacy, and the his


If Indian historians have generally seemed wary of writing contemporary (post-1947) history, they have seemed even more sceptical about writing narrative history with a distinct story line that makes their work accessible and attractive to serious lay readers outside academia. Permanent Black has therefore been exceptionally fortunate in having published perhaps the two most outstanding recent works in this genre. Partha Chatterjee’s landmark history—and, by any measure, stupendously gripping account—of the strange case of the ‘Bhawal Sannyasi’ who returned from the dead ( a la Natalie Zemon Davis’s ‘Martin Guerre’) to reclaim his ancestral property is entitled A Princely Impostor? The Kumar of Bhawal and the Secret History of Indian Nationalism ; now in paperback and strongly recommended to anyone who thinks Indian history has no connection with great murder mysteries. Nayanjot Lahiri has made the dead come to life as well, in her brilliantly recounted history of how the Indus Valle


THE RETREAT OF DEMOCRACY AND OTHER ITINERANT ESSAYS ON GLOBALIZATION, ECONOMICS, AND INDIA , by Kaushik Basu ‘This is a rare book that combines the wisdom of market economy with social upliftment. Basu shows he is a clear and deep thinker with his heart in the right place.’—N.R. Narayana Murthy ‘This creative, lucid and forthright collection of essays is a joy to read, even where one disagrees. It will be of great value in sensitizing economists to political realities, and others to economic realities.’—Jean Dreze ‘Kaushik Basu is that triply rare being—an Indian intellectual who is open-minded, an economic theorist who is interested in human beings, and an American academic who has a sense of style. ' —Ramachandra Guha For sale in South Asia only, hardback, Rs 450.


Caste in colonial India, caste in South India, caste discrimination as experienced by Dalits, the life and philosophy of an ur-Brahmin--here are the books to read: The Last Brahmin , by Rani Siva Sankara Sarma, hardback, 200 pages, Rs 395 Plain Speaking , by A.N. Sattananathan, hardback, 235 pages, Rs 395 Brahmin and Non-Brahmin , by M.S.S. Pandian, hardback, 286 pages, Rs 650. There's also Nicholas Dirks's Castes of Mind for a history of the construction of caste in colonial India. (Paperback, 380 pages, Rs 350.)


WATERSCAPES edited by Amita Baviskar The wars of the future are already here: wars over water. As a resource central to life and livelihood, water has always been at the centre of intense social action. Waterscapes uses the analytical framework of cultural politics to examine questions of power and inequality, conflicts and compromises around water. It reflects the growing recognition that managing water, as much as land and biomass, is going to be a critical challenge for future economic growth and ecological sustainability. It is a major contribution by anthropologists, historians, and sociologists, leading scholars in the field, who bring original ethnographic and archival research to bear on the cultural politics of a key natural resource. hardback/ Rs 695/ 376 pages/ for sale worldwide


BY SUMMER 2008, SEVENTY of our books will be in paperback. Mridu Rai's book on Kashmir, Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects, is one of those seventy. All our paperbacks are beautifully produced and are priced much lower than our hardbacks. Have a look at our full list of paperbacks on and you'll be surprised by its range.


MAKING CONSERVATION WORK , edited by Ghazala Shahabuddin and Mahesh Rangarajan Wildlife today is competing with some of India’s most underprivileged people for survival. This apart, commercial and industrial pressures from far outside park boundaries reverberate within these fragile ecological oases, making them vulnerable in a way they never have been before. Reconciling the question of preserving what little wildlife remains with the needs of humans has never seemed as tangled. Shahabuddin and Rangarajan's new book, which is about to be released, brings together the thoughts of many new scholars on this urgent issue--is this a battle in which either nature or humans will survive? Must it be a battle? hardback; Rs 595; for sale worldwide.


TIME TREKS : THE UNCERTAIN FUTURE OF OLD AND NEW DESPOTISMS, by Ashis Nandy IN THIS companion to his earlier book Time Warps , Nandy uses the metaphor of the future—imagined utopias, conceptions of cultural possibilities, social critiques of things to come—and redefines the present. His effort is to demonstrate that, in a world increasingly dominated by a narrow range of ideologies, one must affirm that social ethics and a more humane society can be based on grounds other than those framed for the past 200 years by political and psychological forces that have tried to flatten and homogenize the world and reduced the possibility of diverse futures. Hardback, Rs 495, 228 pages, for sale in South Asia only. (Published for the rest of the world by Seagull Books, London and New York.)


We've published some of India's most highly reputed scholars on gender. Permanent Black's gender studies list traverses law, culture, sexuality. See below. Meera Kosambi CROSSING THRESHOLDS Feminist Essays in Social History HB/ 350PP + 7 B/W PICTURES / RS 695.00 / WORLD RIGHTS Rajeswari Sunder Rajan THE SCANDAL OF THE STATE Women, Law, and Citizenship in Postcolonial India HB/ 350PP/ RS 595.00 Nivedita Menon RECOVERING SUBVERSION Feminist Politics Beyond the Law HB / 275PP / RS 595.00 / SOUTH ASIA RIGHTS / 2004 Charu Gupta SEXUALITY, OBSCENITY, COMMUNITY Women, Muslims and the Hindu Public in Colonial India HB / 400PP, 30 ILLUSTR. / RS 350 / SOUTH ASIA RIGHTS / 2005 Tanika Sarkar HINDU WIFE, HINDU NATION Community, Religion, and Cultural Nationalism PB/ 280PP / RS 295 / SOUTH ASIA RIGHTS Ratna Kapur EROTIC JUSTICE Law and the New Politics of Postcolonialism HB/ LARGE FORMAT / 210PP / RS 595.00 / SOUTH ASIA RIGHTS Jörg Fisch IMMOLATING WOMEN A Global History of Widow-burnin


FOREST FUTURES: GLOBAL REPRESENTATIONS AND GROUND REALITIES IN THE HIMALAYAS by Antje Linkenbach Just out from Permanent Black is a book that re-examines the Chipko movement of the 1970s and 1980s because of which struggles over forest rights in the Garhwal Himalayas drew worldwide attention. To a large extent, this also entailed a subsuming of local experiences under global discourses: many of the messages and meanings of the Chipko movement’s varied struggles were homogenized, changed, and rewritten. Antje Linkenbach persuasively argues that global representation took away narrative control from local actors and removed Chipko from the specificity of its locale, from its village contexts. Her attempt is to relocate forest issues and struggles by revisiting the perspectives of leading activists and local residents. Hardback, Rs 695.00, 348 pages, South Asia rights Copublished outside South Asia by Seagull New York


Ramachandra Guha's association with Permanent Black editor Rukun Advani is as old as his writing career. Guha has done a vast amount to make Permanent Black better known, and directed several fine young scholars towards us. Alongside Sunil Khilnani, he has begun a series with us called THE INDIAN CENTURY which aims to bring in works of Indian history that refuse to stop at 1947. Guha's own recent academic work for scholarly audiences has for the past seven or so years been often published by Permanent Black: we have most recently published his How Much Should a Person Consume? Thinking Through the Environment (South Asia rights [copublished by the University of California Press], hardback, Rs 595, 275 pages); and earlier two collections of his essays, An Anthropologist Among the Marxists and The Last Liberal , as well as The States of Indian Cricket . Guha's combative stress on academic prose being accessible and jargon-free has stirred controversy, but there is no doubt


A.M. Shah—A.N. Sattanathan—Abhijit Gupta—Agha Shahid Ali—Amit Chaudhuri—Amita Baviskar-—Amiya Sen—Ania Loomba—Anindita Ghosh—Antje Linkenbach—Arvind Krishna Mehrotra—Ashis Nandy—Ayesha Jalal—Bill Aitken—Thomas Blom Hansen—Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya—Brigid Keenan—Bruce Lawrence—C.M. Naim—Charu Gupta—Chitra Joshi—Chitralekha Zutshi—Christophe Jaffrelot—Claude Markovits—D.K. Chakrabarti—D. Venkat Rao—David Arnold—David Hardiman—David Ludden—Dhriti K. Lahiri Choudhury—Dipesh Chakrabarty—E.H. Aitken—Emma Tarlo—Frances Pritchett—Francesca Orsini—Francis Robinson—Ghanshyam Shah—Ghazala Shahabuddin—Gopal Gandhi—Gyanendra Pandey—Harish Damodaran—Heinrich von Stietencron—Hew McLeod—Ian Bryant Wells—Ian Talbot—Indrani Chatterjee—Jackie Assayag—Janaki Bakhle—Joerg Fisch—Jon Lang—Jyotika Virdi—K. Sivaramakrishnan—K. Ullas Karanth—Kapil Raj—Kaushik Basu—Kaushik Roy—Leela Gandhi—Leela Prasad—Lucy Rosenstein—M.S.S. Pandian—Madhav Gadgil—Mahesh Rangarajan—Mahmood Mamdani—Manu Goswami—Mark Baker—Martha N