The book edited by Manu Bhagwan brings together seven essays in a series of three interrelated conversations—‘On the Landscapes of the Margins’, ‘On the Dreamscapes of Literary Imaginings’ and ‘On the Heteroscapes of history’—united under the general scheme of what Foucault called heterotopia or the possibility of multiple spaces of experience existing simultaneously and thereby refusing to merge in the dominant and hegemonic imagination of history.
This anthology, Makers of Modern India, edited and introduced by Ramchandra Guha includes selected writings and speeches of the nineteen ‘thinker-activists’ of the past two centuries of Indian history. In October, 2005, Guha had reviewed Amartya Sen’s Argumentative Indian for the EPW.
Editors Daniela Berti and Gilles Tarabout explore the concept of territory as a social construct rather than a purely jurisdictional unit of political control. Borrowing from geographer Bonnemaison and acknowledging that the concept of ‘territory’ itself remains largely unexplored in the social sciences, they pursue territoriality more as a ‘notion of identity than security.’
Ritual Matters is an anthology of essays visualized as a contribution to ritual studies. These presentations were part of two sets of conferences held in 2006. Almost inevitably, some of the papers are more interesting than others, but before turning to the specifics it may be worth outlining some of the issues raised by the editors in their introduction.
Sri Lanka was not only considered an outstanding ‘model of Third World democracy’, but also one of the developing world’s few welfare states. Sri Lanka has an enviable record of social development and has been cited as ‘the most widely noted case’ for having relatively high Private Quality of Life Index despite being a non-industrialized developing country.
Challenges to India’s security and future have never been more complex. India is increasingly hemmed in by a neighbourhood which is politically unstable, economically fragile and prone to be exploited by external forces, if not entirely inimical but with divergent strategic objectives.