Language, Nation and Narration

Before I begin the review of G.J.V. Prasad’s work a word on the dust jacket cover: it speaks of the multicultural, multilingual, multifarious ways in which English is read, written, and spoken in India. Hence, fish swim in a sea of words taken from Hindi, Tamil and English, the fish possibly being us who swim in the multitudinous seas that make up the many currents of English usage in India today and of yore.

Jamaniya ka Daba

As the introduction to the Writers’ Workshop translation of Nagarjun’s novel Jamaniya ka Daba puts it, the author is one of the stalwarts of the Progressive movement in Indian literature, a move­ment committed to Marxism and to the depiction of social realism, Nagarjun usually handles social situations familiar in India, and in this novel it is the ‘god-men’s exploitation of the average Indian’s blind belief which is exposed.

Urbanization and Unequal Development

By 2030, 40 per cent of India’s population will be living in urban areas according to projections. The gargantuan gap between the inexorable rise of the country’s urban population, on the one hand, and policy making on urban entitlements, investments, infrastructure, and administrative norms, on the other, is therefore extremely discomfiting. This is not for lack of scholarly interest in the subject.