The essays in Insights and Interventions is a fitting tribute to Uma Chakravarti’s rather unconventional but, firmly committed, career as an academic and activist. It is precisely because it is difficult to put Uma into a mould that makes her contributions to the discipline of history specifically and the social sciences in general, all the more special. This collection therefore aptly captures, in a very sensitive but academicly profound manner, the multifaceted dimensions of the scholarly work that Uma Chakravarti has been engaged in. The book begins with a crisp introduction by the editor, Kumkum Roy which highlights the trajectory of Uma’s evolution as a scholar and what her research work signified for the discipline of history and ancient Indian history in particular. The book is divided into three parts. It opens in Part I with ‘Debates’ and has three essays by V. Geetha, Sharmila Rege and Rashmi Paliwal followed by an interesting Part II on Three ‘Narratives’ by Bharati Jagannathan and finally, we have Part III which is aptly titled ‘Texts and Tradition’ with essays by Naina Dayal, Meera Visvanathan and Kumkum Roy.
February 2013, volume 37, No 2-3