Based mainly on Sanskrit, Prakrit and Apabhramsha texts, the present work is a sequel to P.C Jain’s Labour in Ancient India (1971). Divided into six chapters, it seeks to study the social and economic condition of various categories of Indian labour and the state of guild organizations in early medieval India.
Most seminars based on a broad theme shed some light and create some obscurity. This one is no exception. Planned as an open-ended discussion, it studies movements of protest and reform in India over the centuries, directed against things as disparate as ‘slavery, untouchability and colonialism’ (in the words of a participant). The essays are arranged chronologically, but can be grouped under four broad categories—protest by social groups or classes, dissent or reform expressed through the medium of the arts, protests in the sphere of religion, and Gandhi, who is sui generis.
As another addition to the spate of publications on Indira Gandhi and Emergency, this book does not provide any fresh insights into either the personality of the former Prime Minister or on the economic/political developments which led to centralization of the state in the form of Emergency. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly the personality of Indira Gandhi overrides all other considerations.