India, Vol-II: Perspectives on Politics, Economy and Labour 1918-2007 published by Aakar Books brings together the work of C K Johri, an economist, educated at the Universities of Allahabad and Michigan. He spent the longest span of work at the Shri Ram Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, New Delhi. Since retirement he has been interested in academic subjects discussed in this book.
This book in two volumes is about India in the course of a century, traversing varied phases and developments, some undoubtedly momentous and several others quite distressful or saddening. In 947-48, both happened together in the form of independence and the Partition of India accompanied by unprecedented communal combats. The principal themes are political developments, economy and labour which together comprise most of the cumulative change that has occurred in the main period covered, 1918-2007. Preparation for these changes, of which the first notable outcome was the constitution of 1919, began earlier.
To facilitate understanding, a brief review of the preceding decade is provided. The leadership of Gandhi is the most extraordinary facet of the long period which is marked by satyagraha and civil disobedience, followed by repression and state violence. This is the reason for giving Volume I the sub-title, The Age of Gandhi. Following Independence, it stretched for about a decade longer until 1957. Volume II is about political shaping of India under a democratic constitution. It has governed the actions of strong and weak alike. Under its wide sway, people have learnt to take part in politics, make and unmake governments and now demand action against the corrupt and respect for law.
The totality of change is unprecedented in the long history of India. The economy has changed beyond recognition, though the progress is uneven and inequalities are growing even as deep seated poverty persists. Labour relations have seen the most turmoil in past, but are now quiter and more management centred. Partial globalization and liberalization of the economy have impacted labour most. The interested readers will find facets of continuity and disjunction running through all the three themes in the book.
In our Economics section, in hardcover, Rs. 1695, pages 506. ISBN: 9789350021514