Sunday, 20 July 2014

Battles of the New Republic

Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal by Prashant Jha from Aleph Book Company.

The Informal Constitution — Unwritten Criteria in Selecting Judges for the Supreme Court of India: This is a meticulously researched and deeply passionate book. Generations of readers will turn to it to understand Nepals fraught transition to democracy Manjushree Thapa. In the past decade, Nepal has undergone arguably one of the boldest political transformations in South Asia. Identitybased politics has brought long marginalised social groups into the mainstream and upended the bulwark of Nepali nationalism-the Hindu monarchy. Yet, the process of change has repeatedly broken down and Nepals fragile polity, under stress from various forces, has continuously fragmented-the first Constituent Assembly failed to draft a Constitution, the Maoists, who sparked the transformation with an armed insurrection and once represented hope, have been co-opted into the very political culture they once challenged, never ending political negotiations have chronically paralysed the governance initiatives needed to address Nepals problems and India, the countrys powerful neighbour, has played an overwhelming role in national politics, choosing to intervene or stay away at crucial junctures.

In exhaustively analysing all these issues, Prashant Jha covers extensive territory, in the corridors of power in Kathmandu and New Delhi as well as on the ground in the Tarai and forges a narrative that is as comprehensive in its overview as it is detailed in chronicling the minutiae of day today politics. An unprecedented account of the rebirth of a nation, Battles of the New Republic celebrates the deepening of democracy, despairs at the death of a dream and seeks answers to a fundamental political dilemma-who exercises power, to what end and for whose benefit?

Interesting FactsPerhaps the most important book on Nepal to ever be published, Battles of the New Republic will be required reading for anyone with an interest in Nepali politics and in Indo - Nepal relations.In clinically exposing the extent of Indias interference in Nepali affairs, PrashantJha breaks new ground in journalism in the subcontinent.Prashant Jha also explores the links between the Naxalites of India and the Maoists of Nepal, laying bare the linkages between the two.Battles of the New Republic chronicles the politics of the Tarai region of Nepal in minute detail, perhaps for the first time in the English language.The book focuses unsparingly critical light on the lives and careers of both Baburam Bhattarai and Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, arguably the most vital agents of transformation in modern Nepal.

In our Politics section, Rs. 395, in paperback, 384 pages, ISBN: 9789382277996

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Marx, Gandhi and Modernity

Marx, Gandhi and Modernity: Essays presented to Javeed Alam by Akeel Bilgrami from Tulika Books.

As a tribute to Javeed Alam and his exemplary life, some of his close friends and admirers have come together in this volume with reflections on the range of themes that he pursued in his work with such intelligence and relish for some four decades: the nature of capitalism and the various angles of a Marxist response to it, the nature of secularism and liberalism and the forms of modernity which they usher in, and Gandhi’s political ideas in the context of Indian society and India’s own unfolding modernity.

In our Philosophy section, Rs. 750, in hardback, xiv+314 pages, ISBN: 9789382381396

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Religion and Rabindranath Tagore

Religion and Rabindranath Tagore: Select Discourses, Addresses and Letters in Translation by Amiya P. Sen from Oxford University Press (India).

Rabindranath Tagore was deeply influenced by the nirguni sants of north India, inspired by the Vaishnav poets' belief in divine love, and found solace in the Baul singers who used songs as their medium of self-expression. His poetry and songs reflect these varied influences. While Tagore has been studied from the biographical, literary, social, and political perspectives, his religious and philosophical side has not often been examined, owing to the unavailability of the bulk of his Bengali writings in translation.

This volume includes selections from Tagore's essays, public addresses, and letters. The lucid translation makes accessible the hitherto relatively neglected area of his prose writings and speeches. With a focus on the critique of contemporary Hinduism, conceptions of God and religion, and ethical activism, this work identifies the various stages in the evolution of Tagore's religious thoughts beginning from the 1880s.

In his comprehensive introduction, Amiya P. Sen identifies the originality of Tagore's religious and philosophic conceptions. Sen also situates Tagore's religious life and thought in his time and, importantly, places him within trends in contemporary Hindu religious and philosophical thought.

In our Literature section, Rs. 495, in paperback, 312 pages, ISBN: 9780198098966

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Role of Information and Communication Technology in Women Empowerment by Shikha Mathur Kumar from Kalpaz Publications.

With the opening up of Indian economy and the liberalisation of markets in 1990, information and communication (ICT) has emerged as a key driver of economic and social development in India touching the lives of men and women in difference ways. This book attempts to examine the role of ICT in empowering women in India, particularly belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minority community.

Providing a national perspective of macro issues in gender growth and development, it presents a critical analysis of the role of ICT in the development of embroidery sector dominated by marginalised workers from Dalit and Muslim communities in National Capital region.

In our Developement Studies section, Rs. 910, in hardback, 304 pages, ISBN: 9789351280118

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Classics" Literature

Vanguards of Globalization: Port - Cities from the Classical to the Modern by Rila Mukherjee from Primus Books.

Vanguards of Globalization: Port-Cities from the Classical to the Modern looks at the historical evolution of port-cities from emporion to gateway and interrogates their nature over time. This volume studies specific port-cities such as Barbarikon, Chaul, Porto Novo, Madras, Nagasaki, and Sitangkai, and more generally the ports around the Erythraean Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, Portuguese, Andhra, Bengal and Vietnamese coasts.

In doing so, the contributors celebrate the hybridity and cosmopolitanism that port-cities offer and discuss the wider implications of cross-cultural competition, port-hinterland dynamics as well as themes, problems and textual evidence about port-cities and how they link to ports today.

In our History section, Rs. 1295, in hardback, xviii+426 pages, ISBN: 9789380607948

Literature as History: From Early to Contemporary Times by Chhanda Chatterjee from Primus Books.

Literature as History, between its two seemingly opposite spectrums, puts forth an idea of unusual convergence between the fields of literature and history. It begins by showing how literary material — since the Sangam period of Tamil literary Renaissance in the first millennium up to the very recent globally acclaimed Indo-Anglian literature — has reflected the twists and turns of history. Sometimes it highlights simply the life lived by the people in their everyday contentment and misery; sometimes it is the Sufiana tariqa (the Sufi way) of syncretic spiritualism (tassawuf), and sometimes it is the literary symbolism of nature trying to represent the nation.

In this eclectic collection of essays, the one on Rabindranath Tagore's seminal play The Red Oleanders documents the world's great enthusiasm for the promised liberation of the weak and the oppressed from the shackles of industrial capitalism, while another on Tagore's Letters from Russia explains the subsequent disillusionment and retreat from the first flush of hope and expectation. The three concluding essays in the volume, on Indo-Anglian literature and women's writing, signal a new phase of history where the Indian diaspora has completed 'the conquest of English' and caused history to come full circle.

In our Literature section, Rs. 595, in hardback, x+176 pages, ISBN: 9789384082031

Friday, 11 July 2014

India Exclusion Report And Shelters for the Urban Homeless

India Exclusion Report: 2013-14 by Centre for Equity Studies from Books for Change.

India Exclusion Report 2013-14 presents an in-depth review of exclusion with respect to four essential public goods — school education, urban housing, ‘decent work’ in labour markets and legal justice in relation to anti-terror legislations in India. It also discusses exclusion in budgetary and planning processes and profiles three highly excluded groups — transgenders, bonded labourers and Musahars.

India Exclusion Report 2013-14 is a widely collaborative effort, involving numerous institutions and individuals working with disadvantaged and marginalized communities in India. The report seeks to inform public opinion around exclusion and to influence policymaking towards more inclusive and equitable governance. It is also meant to serve as a tool to support public action for the greater inclusion of excluded communities in the country.

In our Development Studies section, Rs. 995, in paperback, 268 pages, ISBN: 9788192690704

Shelters for the Urban Homeless: A Handbook for Administrators and Policymakers by Commissioners of the Supreme Court from Books for Change.

Even while sustaining cities with their cheap labour, urban homeless persons live desperately hard lives with no shelter or social protection. The courage, fortitude and sheer enterprise that allows the homeless to survive on the streets is not recognized or channelized. In placing homeless persons outside the society of ‘legitimate urban residents’, we are in effect disenfranchising a large, powerless population. Both at the level of social attitudes and at the level of development policy, changes are urgently needed.

On 27 January 2012, the Supreme Court reiterated that the right to dignified shelters was a necessary component of the Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Many state governments felt they needed detailed guidelines on how to plan, establish and run shelters for homeless persons in their cities.

Shelters for Urban Homeless contains detailed guidelines for setting up shelters as a first-stage arrangement. From here, the homeless can take the initial steps towards a life of dignity, sustain a livelihood for themselves and ultimately move beyond these shelters into permanent housing arrangements. This book is intended to assist senior government officials in establishing and running shelters for homeless people in every city in compliance with the expectations of the Supreme Court of India and the Scheme of Shelters for Urban Homeless.

In our Law section, Rs. 295, in paperback, 90 pages, ISBN: 9788192690711

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Education- Ethnicity- Social and Cultural Change

Education in Colonial India: Historical Insights by Deepak Kumar, Joseph Bara, Nandita Khadria And Ch. Radha Gayathri from Manohar Publishers.

The collection of essays in this volume tries to address some of the issues and developments in the making of an inclusive knowledge society in colonial India, and the transmission of knowledge through agents and institutions of education in modern India from a historical perspective.

The pace of knowledge diffusion has increased particularly over the last century, but the education system in India today is basically a legacy of the two centuries of colonial rule, with limited and uneven access to knowledge.

The volume traces the growth of knowledge in India in modern times and its conflict with existing societal and religious expectations and also of the conflict between individual and institutional ideas. It also addresses the issue of social exclusion be it sectional, regional or gender oriented and explores the growth of a new system of education in modern India.

In our History section, Rs. 1250, in hardback, 460 pages, ISBN: 9788173049873

Conflicting Ethnicities: Locating the Local in the Global by Kousar J. Azam from Manohar Publishers.

Ethnicity, whether old or new has always defined and defied borders and boundaries. It is both global and local in character. It challenges the received notions of state and nation and is in turn challenged by globalisation, internationalism, multiculturalism and the overriding notions of modernity. The present collection is an edited version of some of the papers that were presented at an international conference on Ethnicity organised at OUCIP, Hyderabad. These papers focus on the changing notions of ethnicity and the challenges they pose to nation states in a world of economic and political uncertainties.

Ranging from the issues of invention and reinvention of ethnicity, the studies herein cover the assertions of ethnicity in the indigenous context within a nation state, to the analysis of the ethnicity and religion in the international context. The papers bring to the fore the nature and role of state as an institution in the creation, construction accommodation and suppression of ethnicity, the imposition of nationalist discourses and the resistance from the margins, and the diverse impact of globalisation on ethnic assertions in different countries.

The papers cover the role of different kinds of states -- militarised, totalitarian, and democratic -- in the treatment of ethnic minorities as well as the shifting goals and shuffling priorities of the ethnic groups aspiring for a stake in their respective societies indicating the fluidity of demands and the responses of the state.

In our Strategic Affairs section, Rs. 1095, in hardback, 368 pages, ISBN: 9788173049989

The Namdhari Sikhs: Their Changing Social and Cultural Landscape by Joginder Singh from Manohar Publishers.

For the first time a serious attempt has been made to understand the social background of the Namdhari Sikhs of Punjab; their demographic and occupational changes and beliefs and practices. The study shows that the Namdhari Sikhs primarily came from the agricultural and artisan classes ever since the inception of the Kuka Movement in the late nineteenth century. Since then the people of other occupational castes have also responded to the Namdhari mission. The study has identified eighteen occupational castes of the Namdhari Sikhs. Among these, the Jat and Ramgharia Sikhs are in majority.

The study analyses the variations in the proportionate representation of each occupational caste and its status in the administrative hierarchy of this community during a period of 150 years. It also examines the impact of primary variables, like Partition of Punjab (1947), creation of Indo-Pakistan Border, Green Revolution, industrial developments and Terrorist Movement in Punjab, on the processes of migration and resettlement of the Namdhari Sikhs, their caste-wise occupational diversification and class differentiation and rise of new classes. These developments posed serious challenges to the Namdhari leadership.

In addition to the above, the study examines the Namdhari concepts of embodied-guru, nam-simran, structure of rituals, dowry-free mass marriages, food taboos and dress code. The study highlights that the religious orientation of the Namdhari Sikhs has strengthened them spiritually and morally to withstand those social evils that affect most Punjabis.The study is based upon a random survey of 1545 Namdhari families of eighteen districts of Punjab, as well as primary and secondary sources.

In our Religion section, Rs. 650, in hardback, 272 pages, ISBN: 9788173049965