Romila Thapar

More verbiage has been expended, on a global scale, on MK Gandhi’s 1930 Salt Satyagraha  than on any other event of national importance in the 20th century.  To this day, analysts continue to pore over the why and wherefore of the Gandhian satyagraha (literally, ‘soul-force’) movement…

Reviewed by: Nalini Rajan
Prathama Banerjee

The book foregrounds the ‘multitudinous dialectics’ (p. 215) at the core of the political, defying borders and hierarchies of disciplines and minds, and most fabulously, replete with the volumes of counterintuitive ideas. The book delivers in text as well as subtext…

Reviewed by: Dev Nath Pathak
Vinay Sitapati

Vinay Sitapati’s Jugalbandi is an absorbing account of the growth and development of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before 2004. The story is about the Party when it was on the fringes, nowhere near capturing a plurality of the votes, and had no realistic chance of becoming the ruling party on its own…

Reviewed by: KK Kailash
Ashish Khetan

Undercover: My Journey into the Darkness of Hindutva gives a chronological account of the events, testimonies, and use of state machinery in the execution of what culminated into a cold-blooded extermination of the Muslims in Gujarat. Ashish Khetan, a journalist by profession, presents…

Reviewed by: Sabah Hussain
Ashutosh Kumar

Electoral politics in India, particularly in the Indian States, has acquired its own dynamism and complexity.  While it gets impacted by socio-economic factors—local, State level and national—it also impacts the society and polity through social and political alliances as well as voting patterns…

Reviewed by: Ajay K Mehra
Harish S Wankhede

Modernity and democracy are responsible for changing the conventional nature of state power and social relationships. In India, the colonial state was responsible for introducing new institutional practices that regulated and reformed the state and societal practices…

Reviewed by: Harish S Wankhede
Wajahat Habibullah

1991 is often referred to as the year when India faced severe political and social instability due to the rise of divisive identity politics in the aftermath of the Mandal and Mandir issues. The year also marked the country facing serious economic crisis which compelled…

Reviewed by: Ashutosh Kumar
Nabaparna Ghosh

The book under review is Nabaparna Ghosh’s crisp treatise about the para or the neighbourhood in colonial Calcutta. The book has four chapters apart from a very well laid out introduction and a tight epilogue. The introduction outlines the plan of the book and raises a number of questions…

Reviewed by: Bidisha Dhar
Faizi Ahmad, C.J. Kuncheria and C. Rammanohar Reddy

As we live through an unprecedented number of new infections of Covid-19, and deaths, we can take pride in that in this one indicator  we have even overtaken the USA. We are reporting close to 400,000 new cases every day and close to 4000 deaths every day…

Reviewed by: Mohan Rao
S. Giridhar

Academic writing in the field of education often presents a theoretical understanding that is disconnected from field realities. As a teacher educator, I have often found pre-service teachers struggling with theories, models and perspectives that are built on the basis of research…

Reviewed by: Toolika Wadhwa
G.J.V. Prasad

In just seventy pages, the author Prasad has packed a lot of punch in this meticulously researched monograph on Khushwant Singh. The engaging narrative is peppered with laconic one-liners, tongue firmly in cheek. While he notes that Singh was many things to many people—a writer

Reviewed by: Lakshmi Kannan
Chandan Sinha

Kabir’s works stand thoroughly translated and analysed, yet the appeal of his ideas and writings continues to invite further translations and interpretations. Chandan Sinha’s book makes an important contribution to the existing knowledge on Kabir and places this possibly…

Reviewed by: Kashish Dua
Bhagwandas Morwal

Past is a land of possibilities—creative, discussive, interpretive. The seductive aura of its myriad ifs and buts has always kept creative imaginations in thrall. Novelists have often latched on to its narrative possibilities to augment their fictionality and make a meaningful intervention in the present… 

Reviewed by: Anup Singh Beniwal
Manjula Padmanabhan

Stuck in her twenty-something body, Manjula Padmanabhan is a misfit amongst her friends and family. Getting There: A Young Woman’s Quest for Love, Truth and Weight-Loss is a memoir about a woman in erstwhile Bombay who is unable to find peace despite all…

Reviewed by: Suman Bhagchandani
Stephen Alter

Stephen Alter’s Feral Dreams makes a creative and engaging intervention in the proliferating literary and cinematic industry that constitutes the afterlife of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. During the span of a century or more since this novel was first published

Reviewed by: Rohini Mokashi-Punekar
Thachom Poyil Rajeevan. Translated from the original Malayalam by P.J. Mathew

We come to appreciate light only when the sun sets or the lamps are out. Similarly, we really come to know what freedom is when we are in jail. One day in jail would give a detainee much more insight into what freedom is than can be gained reading and listening for a lifetime outside. (p. 177)…

Reviewed by: Divya Shankar
Stuti Agarwal

There is both beauty and novelty in finding magic, but one hears less about the beauty and novelty of the everyday. Stuti Agarwal’s The Very Glum Life of Tootoolu Toop is a love letter to the everyday, ‘glum’ life that we all live. Told through the perspective of a ten-year-old witch of the ‘Oonoodiwaga’…

Reviewed by: Zahra Rizvi
Bharati Jagannathan

Bharati Jagannathan, an academic and historian who is already well-known as a children’s writer, debuts her collection of fiction for adults with this engagingly heart-warming set of stories. If the vibrant cover with the title ensconced inside a kolam isn’t suggestive enough, the glossary of Tamil…

Reviewed by: Maya Joshi
Veena Sharma

When I think of foods I’m likely to encounter in the Himalayan areas, I think of momos, thukpa, yak cheese. But wait. All these dishes are of Tibetan origin. With that comes the realization that I, and most of us, have little idea as to what is consumed in an Indian home located in the foothills of the grand mountains on a regulaar day. ..

Reviewed by: Anjula Ray Chaudhury