Dinyar Patel

It would not be amiss to say that Dadabhai Naoroji has been languishing for a long time in the lounge of history, waiting to be ushered into the hall of fame. The near absence of Naoroji’s memory from the political landscape of today is a rude reminder of the injustice done…


Reviewed by: Syed Areesh Ahmad
Sandeep Bamzai

This book is a romantic narrative about overcoming the centrifugal forces unleashed by various Indian Princely States during the tumultuous years leading up to and shortly after Independence. Like all romantic narratives, the tone of the book is heroic…


Reviewed by: Sarath Pillai
Meeta and Rajivlochan

Books such as Making India Great Again: Learning from Our History are meant to have a long life. However, books are also reflective of a particular time and a milieu. Context does have an influence on what is written and when it is written…


Reviewed by: Ajit Phadnis & Sachin Arya
Ananth Krishnan

Ananth Krishnan’s book is a refreshing take on a topic India has grossly underinvested in. It is well known that dealing with its neighbour has been one of the most significant challenges confronting India’s foreign policy-makers; however, a very honest and sincere attempt to understand China from multiple lenses has been elusive. Discourses on China in India have been captive to the ghosts…


Reviewed by: G Venkataraman
Gayathri Prabhu and Nikhil Govind

Film scholarship across the world has been using various theoretical concepts to deal with aesthetics, especially the visual aesthetic of different genres of cinema. These broader theoretical approaches are linked to semiotics and representation, ideology and mass mediation…


Reviewed by: Sujith Kumar Parayil
Kishwar Desai

What makes Devika (the little goddess) Rani (the queen) so unique in the history of Indian cinema? And what has sustained public imagination on this enigmatic lady till now? Is it her ethereal beauty, acting ability, radiant personality, pedigree or upbringing…


Reviewed by: Amitabha Bhattacharya
Feisal Alkazi

Sometime during the early decades of the 1900s, with India in the throes of the anti-colonial movement, Kulsumbai decided that her family—the couple and their six children, three boys and three girls—would move to England, and the kids would be admitted to a boarding school there…


Reviewed by: Malvika Maheshwari
DREAM KEEPER: A POETOGRAPHY ENSEMBLE

In this virtual world where image consumption on the screen is the norm and many web-based platforms offer our eye the luxury to look at the work of talented photographers, coming across the printed picture is an experience that still goes unmatched. The materiality of paper…


Reviewed by: Sohail Akbar
Shahla Hussain

Writing on the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, in its post-1947 avatar(s), is a challenge that few of us have met without being called out for missing out on not one but many strings which weave together the chaotic mess that has come to be euphemistically called the Kashmir problem…


Reviewed by: Ellora Puri
Nikita Sud

The on-going farmers’ protest in India has once again highlighted the continuous significance of land on the one hand and its continuous process of making and re-making on the other. These protests point towards the fact that the land issues and agrarian politics are not settled…


Reviewed by: Aijaz Ashraf Wani & Muzamil Yaqoob
Jagannath Ambagudia and Virginius Xaxa

British ethnographers and administrators commenced the documentation of Tribes and Caste in India. HA Rose, HH Risley, E Thurston, RE Enthoven, RV Russel and others made  painstaking efforts to identify different communities present in British India. After Independence…


Reviewed by: L David Lal
Nikhila Menon

Amartya Sen’s ‘Capability Approach’ and ‘Development as Freedom’ continues to intrigue, interest and push scholars to explore what emerges when these are applied in the concrete, on the ground, to specific sectors, and, categories of people within these sectors…


Reviewed by: Padmini Swaminathan
Maryam Aslany

Rural society in India has undergone social and economic transformation in varying degrees during the past decades giving rise to new questions and issues such as decline or demise of traditional social classes and the rise of new ones, changes in patterns of power relations among them…


Reviewed by: Jagpal Singh
Kavitha Iyer

‘When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.’– Benjamin FranklinIndia woke up to a spate of farmer suicides through Everybody Loves a Good Drought by P Sainath, and the first State where suicides were reported was Maharashtra. Two decades after that book…


Reviewed by: Radha Varadarajan
Ashok Pankaj, Atul Sarma, and Antora Borah

This book was, perhaps, envisaged along with a conference titled ‘Social Sector Development in North-East India: Problems, Issues and Challenges’. The most striking point the book states is that human capital development should be the focus of all efforts for the social development of the region…


Reviewed by: Ambika Mohan
Amrit Raj

When a friend sent me a copy of Indian Icon by Amit Raj, the timing was great! It had been a regrettably long time since I had read a good book and I was looking for something to get back into the habit. We have had Bullets in our family for three generations…


Reviewed by: Saurabh Deshpande
Nazima Parveen

In the book under review Nazima Parveen looks at the transformation of Shahjahanabad, which later became Old Delhi, between 1850 and the 1970s to understand the deep segregation that has emerged between the city’s Hindu and Muslim populations in terms of residential living…


Reviewed by: Diya Mehra
Rajeev Kumaramkandath and Sanjay Srivastava

(Hi)Stories of Desire is set to be a landmark publication on culture in modern India. It maps this via the route of sexualities and draws upon a diverse set of disciplinary locations and research to do so. In addition to a very comprehensive introductory chapter co-authored…


Reviewed by: Krishna Menon
Michiel Baas

Ever since I had started listening to rock music in my early teens, one of the most unusual figures I have come across is Henry Rollins. Rollins began as a front man for Black Flag, a band that is part of the canon of punk rock in its later period, and later made a name as the founder of Rollins Band…


Reviewed by: Ankur Datta
Madhav Hada. Translated from the original Hindi by Pradeep Trikha

India is a land of diverse opinions, interpretations and debates. It is a land of pluralistic but protean ethos. Herein history and hagiography, anecdotal and ideological, secular and sacred continuously coalesce and collide to configure and reconfigure its constitutive icons. In the process the icons often lose their existential/embodied moorings…


Reviewed by: Anup Singh Beniwal

There were nights Divya would switch off from the world and plant herself in the desolate courtyard behind her building to vape. There she would venerate the stars framed by the tickling fronds of the coconut trees, imagining the tails of vapour rising and up to them…


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