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Showing posts from July, 2010


INDIA'S NEW CAPITALISTS Caste, Business, and Industry in a Modern Nation by Harish Damodaran WINNER OF THE RAMNATH GOENKA NON-FICTION AWARD 2009 ‘Business in India has grown today to being no longer limited to a few castes or families ... Damodaran’s book makes a seminal contribution to understanding the link between diverse entrepreneurial capital and the development of societies ...’—NANDAN NILEKANI ‘Damodaran presents a richly insightful analysis of the deepening of India’s business class in recent decades.' RAMACHANDRA GUHA and SUNIL KHILNANI In tracing the modern-day evolution of business communities in India, this book is the first social history to document and understand India’s new entrepreneurial groups. Written accessibly, and combining analytic rigour with journalistic flair, it also contains fifteen individual case studies that embellish its general findings. 365 pp / Rs 395 / Paperback /

Of Sanskrit Kavyas and Punjabi Qisse

Two young scholars examine literary genres ... FARINA MIR & SHONALEEKA KAUL The Social Space of Language Vernacular Culture in British Colonial Punjab by Farina Mir & Imagining the Urban Sanskrit and the City in Early India by Shonaleeka Kaul When you think of India’s ancient cities, you think of khaki archaeologists digging crumbling structures out of ancient mud. Urban spheres, from this perspective, often look as dull as the dust from which they emerge. But the early Indian city wasn’t like that at all, says Shonaleeka Kaul; it was certainly not only brick-and-mortar, nor merely an agglomeration of built-up space. In Sanskrit literature these cities were alive, vibrant, teeming with variety. Kaul examines Sanskrit kāvyas over about a thousand years to see what India’s early historic cities were like as living, lived-in, entities. She looks at ideologies, attitudes, institutions, and practices in ancient urban areas, showing the ways in which th


CONSERVATION AT THE CROSSROADS Science, Society, and the Future of India's Wildlife Ghazala Shahabuddin India faces an ecological crisis of crippling proportions. The overexploitation of the country’s forests and wetlands is eating away at vital ecological processes. Rapid and unplanned economic development threatens to fragment and devour what little wildlife habitat survives. Plant and animal species are joining the ranks of the critically endangered faster than ever before. India’s dominant conservation paradigm is one of control and exclusion, where animals and ecosystems are sought to be protected by guns, guards, fences. This book argues that environmental justice and improved governance have to be as much a part of the conservation agenda as sound ecological science and practice. It surveys alternative approaches to conservation which attempt to reconcile social equity with biodiversity goals. Using the Sariska Tiger Reserve as an anchor, the author analyses the historical

Paperbacking the Slave Dynasty

SUNIL KUMAR The Emergence of the Delhi Sultanate AD 1192–1286 The Sultans of Delhi came from relatively humble origins. They were slaves who rose to become generals in the armies of the Afghan ruler Muizz al-Dīn Ghūrī. Their transformation into rulers of a kingdom of great political influence in North India was a slow and discontinuous process that occurred through the thirteenth century. For the better part of that century, there were many centres of social and political power in the early Delhi Sultanate. There were military commanders with contending political ambitions, as well as urban elites with contrasting social constituencies, religious ideologies, and personal commitments. Such people did not always support authoritarian interventions seeking to create a monolithic state. So, for decades, the Sultanate seemed to disappear from political reckoning, and its resurrections were more in the nature of reincarnations. It made its periodic reappearances in bodily forms diff