Abhay Kumar
THE POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY OF AN EARTHQUAKE: AFTERMATH AND AMNESIA IN GUJARAT, INDIA by Edward Simpson Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2015, 302 pp., 950
April 2015, volume 39, No 4

On the morning of January 26, 2001 when India was celebrating the 52nd Republic Day, a great tragedy befell Gujarat. As the earthquake struck, around 14,000 people died, houses fell into rubble, hundreds of villages ‘totally collapsed’ and oil spill was reported. The most affected areas of Gujarat were Kutch, Bhuj and Anjar. While most of us are aware of the disaster, the post-earthquake reconstruction process and its consequent impact on economy and politics are not much known. Edward Simpson, Professor of Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), fills this gap in his book under review.

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