Abdul Momin Chowdhury and Ranabir Chakravarti

Part of an encyclopaedic project on the history of an important region in the eastern part of the subcontinent, the volumes under consideration focus on the ancient and early medieval periods. The first and longer volume is more heterogenous, while the second is more sharply focused.

Reviewed by: Kumkum Roy
Anjali Verma

Among the many voices of history in early India, women were marginal and their voices were almost unheard. Fortunately with the continuous efforts of a few historians (Sukumari Bhattacharji, Uma Chakravarti, Kumkum Roy, Vijaya Ramaswami and others), largely since the 1980s.

Reviewed by: Suchandra Ghosh
Meera Uberoi

What could be a better testimony to the perennial appeal of India’s epics than the fresh retellings and translations being published at fairly regular intervals? Each generation appears to need its own version in language that it can relate to. Now Uberoi’s 1996.

Reviewed by: Pradip Bhattacharya
Irfan Habib

The work under review is the thirty-first volume in the People’s History of India textbook series edited by its author Irfan Habib himself. The publisher’s intention behind this series is the promotion of ‘scientific method in History, and resisting communal.

Reviewed by: Sunny Kumar
Yogendra Yadav

Yogendra Yadav’s voice has a familiar, unruffled and calm quality to it even as it has pronounced on the turbulent ructions of Indian politics. That same calm, unruffled quality can be heard speaking through these many pages of this  voluminous book that combines more..

Reviewed by: Amir Ali
Ziya Us Salam and M. Aslam Pervez

Madrasas in the Age of Islamophobia by Zia Us Salam and M Aslam Parvaiz offers us an insight into the different facets of the world of madrasas in India. The preface spells out the central question/intent: what the reality of madrasas is today, a ubiquitous part of the landscape.

Reviewed by: Hem Borker
Nitasha Kaul & Ather Zia

The ideational cohesion holding together this compelling collection of essays is driven by the need to visibilize the particularity of Kashmiri women’s ‘own ways of knowing’. The title Can You Hear Kashmiri Women Speak? Narratives of Resistance and Resilience.

Reviewed by: Rita Manchanda
Pascal Alan Nazareth

What exactly does an ambassador or a career diplomat do? Is it merely enjoying a comfortable life, mouthing high sounding ideals and engaging in protocol and immigration issues? How much scope is there for individual initiatives to play out? Reading through this autobiography.

Reviewed by: Amitabha Bhattacharya
Urjit Patel

Urjit Patel joined the Reserve Bank of India as Deputy Governor in January 2013 in charge of the Monetary Policy Department and was subsequently elevated as the 24th Governor of the RBI from September 2016 as the successor to Dr. Raghuram Rajan. He left rather prematurely on 10th December 2018.

Reviewed by: TCA Ranganathan
Devesh Kapur and Madhav Khosla

The book is a collection of relevant works on different regulatory institutions in India. Given the paucity of literature on state regulation, the essays offer an in-depth view of how different regulatory institutions in India have responded to streamline the administration of the economy.

Reviewed by: Siddhartha Mukerji
Praveen Jha, Paris Yeros and Walter Chambati

Rethinking the Social Sciences with Sam Moyo is a tribute to one of Africa’s and Zimbabwe’s greatest modern thinker, Sam Moyo, who made an astounding contribution to social science with his intellectual work on the land and agrarian questions of the global South.

Reviewed by: Shivani Rajput
S. Anandhi, Karthick Ram Manoharan, M. Vijayabaskar and A. Kalaiyarasan

Rethinking Social Justice was published earlier this year in honour of MSS Pandian, the late historian of South India. The volume comprises an array of essays on a wide range of topics that are thematically organized into five sections: ‘Politics of Culture.

Reviewed by: Kiran Keshavamurthy
Aakash Singh Rathore

For the last hundred years, Ambedkarite politics has been imperatively speaking to the people of India about the idea of constitutionalism. In 1919, while submitting a memorandum to the South Borough Commission on behalf of the Depressed Classes.

Reviewed by: Jadumani Mahanand
Amba Pande

Women constitute a significant composition of Indian diasporic communities universally. Even though the role of female sojourners has been invisible in diasporic accounts for considerable period of time, feminist and subaltern interventions made substantial advancement.

Reviewed by: Parvathy Poornima
Nagesh Prabhu

The ‘exceptionalism’ of the book under review according to its author, a senior journalist, lies in the fact that it seeks to unravel the rise of the Modi leadership ‘from the middle class perspective’ without adhering to ‘any ideological point of view’ unlike ‘other books.

Reviewed by: Ashutosh Kumar
Rajakishor Mahana

Tribal societies are marked by contestation, competition, movement, conflict, etc., in the contemporary period. These concerns are mainly revolving around the question of livelihood and survival of tribal communities. Their livelihood and survival largely depend.

Reviewed by: Jagannath Ambagudia

The Covid-19 global pandemic has changed the way of life for one and all across the planet, and the battle against the virus is still ongoing. Many books about Covid-19 have been published since the virus first emerged in Wuhan, China, addressing various aspects of it.

Reviewed by: Shraddha A Singh
Roshni Sengupta

Representation is a tricky word as there can never be an authentic representation. Any act of representation conceals a lot and only offers a timid glimpse of reality. Cinema is well known for such deception. It often claims to be a reflexive comrade that would showcase.

Reviewed by: Harish Wankhede
Vivek Sachdeva

More than a cinematographer extraordinaire, Shyam Benegal is a phenomenon, an institution of sorts. So strong is his influence on the parallel or new cinema of contemporary times that one may easily speak of the Benegal school of film-making. It is another matter.

Reviewed by: Rana Nayar
Indira Parthasarathy. Translated from the original Tamil and edited by C.T. Indra & T Sriraman

The three plays, introduced with a skilled and analytically detailed discussion, rise above parochialisms of time, space, culture and language.  They resonate with universal themes and emotions like love, duty, guilt and the sheer tedium of existence that saps one’s soul of vibrancy and one’s life of joy.

Reviewed by: Malati Mathur
M. Mukundan. Translated by Fathima E.V. and Nandakumar K.

This novel is really a chronicle, like Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, of a time, and characters who lived in that time, kings, nobles, knights and wizards; what happened to them, the events of which they were part, and how they survived or were destroyed. But that’s where any resemblance fades.

Reviewed by: Bhaskar Ghose
Benyamin. Translated from the original Malayalam by Swarup B.R.

Benyamin’s latest novel in English, Body and Blood, unravels a new kind of politics that interweaves faith and crime as the author deals with the influence of religious dogmatism in the lives of faithful believers. The setting of the novel spreads over a group of Indian cities and the narrative is shaped.

Reviewed by: Grace Mariam Raju
Amit Dasgupta

Lockdown. Isolation. Social distancing. Cases. PPE. These are but fragments of the vocabulary that have entered our lives with the onset of the pandemic. Now that ‘the new normal’ has been set and the countless deaths slowly become cold numbers that we scroll past on .

Reviewed by: Armaan Verma
Kaori Takahashi

Each an eight page fold out hard-board book, this set of four books, Peek-a-Book by Kaori Takahashi has been very well conceptualized and designed. One of the books deals with a friend’s birthday and is called Birthday Surprise. As you unfold the sturdy hard-board colourfully illustrated pages.

Reviewed by: Tultul Biswas
Lakshmi Iyer

Given that the picture on the book cover of Why is My Hair Curly? is of a curly-haired girl in reverie holding a pen with a journal in her hand, coupled with the title, one might anticipate the book to be about a young girl’s travails of managing curly hair. One would be wrong.

Reviewed by: Shefali Sewak