30 July, 2012

Preserving Cultural Identity through Education: The Schools of the Chinese Community in Calcutta, India


Preserving Cultural Identity through Education: The Schools of the Chinese Community in Calcutta, India

By- Zhang Xing


Immigrants from China started settling in Calcutta, the British capital of colonial India, from the late eighteenth century, initially, the immigrant community comprised of male workers, many of whom sojourned between China and India. Only in the early twentieth century was there a large influx of women and children from China. To address the educational needs of the children—both immigrant and locality-born—several Chinese-medium primary and middle schools were established in Calcutta by the community in the 1920s and 1930s. Using many hitherto unexplored textual sources and interviews in India, China and Canada, this detailed and unprecedented study examines the history and significance of these Chinese-medium schools. It focuses on the role they played in preserving Chinese cultural identity not only through the use of educational curricula and textbooks imported from China, but also with the emphasis on the need to return to the ancestral homeland for higher education. This study also breaks new ground by examining the impact of political and other factionalism within the community as well as the India-China conflict of 1962 that resulted in the closure of most of the Chinese-medium schools in Calcutta by the 1980s.


Zhang Xing is a Ph.D. candidate at Peking University (China) and Martin Luther University (Germany).




ISBN  978-81-7304-905-7    2011   104p.   Rs.350/ pounds 18


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Perilous Journey: Debates on Security and Development in Assam


Perilous Journey: Debates on Security and Development in Assam

By- Rakhee Bhattacharya and Sanjay Pulipaka (eds.)


The contours of Assam’s development and security reveal a continuum of turbulence and conflict. Over the centuries, Assam assimilated large number of ethnic groups, and remained the key state of India’s North-East. It anchors other smaller states of the region in terms of connectivity, geography, economy, history and society.

Except Tripura and Manipur, all other states in North-East India were carved out of Assam during the 1970s and 1980s due to ethno-identity politics. During this period, continuous migration from Bangladesh threatened its economic, cultural, political existence, and the psyche of the indigenous people of Assam. All this resulted in the historic Assam movement, which gradually got transformed into an insurgency. The ever present violence forever changed the destiny of Assam for worse with multi-layered security problems. The state’s economy which was leading in the first few decades after Independence became the most backward in the pan-Indian development space after liberalization.

The theme of the book dwells upon such multi-disciplinary issues that continue to fracture Assam. This book is premised on the belief that today, Assam’s economic prosperity and security issues can no longer be treated as mutually exclusive paradigms. While exploring the security-development linkages, this volume focuses on migration, insurgency, cross-border activities, counter-insurgency doctrines and development issues of Assam. It brings forth the views of experienced policymakers, academicians and young scholars. Conceptualizing the interdependence of security and development in Assam, the book calls for a more integrated and holistic approach to understand and address the security situation in Assam.


Rakhee Bhattacharya is a Fellow at the MAKAIAS, Kolkata. She was also an Endeavour Post-doctoral Fellow. Her areas of interest incorporate North-East India’s security, development, disparity and neighborhood issues.

Sanjay Pulipaka is a Fellow at the MAKAIAS, Kolkata. He was also a Fulbright Fellow and his areas of interest include Indian politics, political transitions, conflict transformation and international politics.





ISBN  978-81-7304-904-0    2011   258p.   Rs.695/ pounds 45

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Our History, Their History:The Contrasting Historical Narratives of East and West


Our History, Their History:The Contrasting Historical Narratives of East and West

By- G.S. Cheema


Why is Indian history so different from European? Why did parliaments and democracy have their origins there and not here? Even though our peasantry was free and we never had landlords – until the British created them here in the later part of the eighteenth century?

Then, even more curiously, while India has been united for considerable periods of its history, the Western world has never been united – not since the fall of Rome in the fifth century. In spite of appallingly bloody wars the political subdivisions of Europe are seemingly permanent. Frontiers have changed only marginally over the past 700 years. In India, on the other hand, the states of the present Union are largely artificial. None of them can claim a history comparable to that of any European country.

It is not that European princes did not dream of world empire, but their empires were mostly overseas. All attempts to unify Europe itself under one emperor, after the Roman model, failed. The Holy Roman Empire was an empire only in name. The Emperor, in spite of his bombastic titles was scarcely even king of Germany.

These are some of the questions and paradoxes that the author has tried to answer and explain in this stimulating and thought provoking book.



G.S. Cheema was born in Ranchi in 1949. A career civil servant, he retired from the Punjab cadre of the Indian Administrative Service in 2009. this is his second book. His first work, The Forgotten Mughals, was published by Manohar in 2002. He lives in Chandigarh.


ISBN  978-81-7304-920-2    2012   248p.   Rs.825/ pounds 45
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New States for a New India: Federalism and Decentralization in the States of Jharkhand and Chattisgarh


New States for a New India: Federalism and Decentralization in the States of Jharkhand and Chattisgarh

By- Samuel Berthet and Girish Kumar (eds.)


The creation of as many as three new states—Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal—around the same time was a big surprise of the year 2000. What was the rationale? What was the justification for their creation as independent states? Even if the idea was to create smaller states by carving out certain neglected regions of some of the unmanageable bigger states, there were many claimants, other than these three. By ignoring the longstanding demand for a separate Vidarbha, for instance, why was Chhattisgarh bestowed with statehood for which there was hardly any demand per se?

The half-century old history of independent India is replete with such demands. Later, when federal arrangements grew from two-tier to multi-tier phase, it was believed that decentralization could be a better route to take power to the doorsteps of the people. Was then the whole exercise aimed at addressing certain maladies of representative democracy? Or was it considered the safest political move to accommodate political aspirations of the leading constituent of the then ruling NDA? Or was it perceived as a necessity to meet an ever growing demand for minerals in a highly globalized market?

All these and related questions have been examined in a multi-disciplinary frame in this volume by scholars, administrators and activists alike, both Indian and French. Through this edited volume, the readers would also come face to face with the final outcome of the decision to create Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, a decade after the addition of these two states to the Indian Union.



Samuel Berthet is currently director of Alliance fran├žaise de Chittagong (Bangladesh).
Girish Kumar is Senior Fellow, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi.





ISBN  978-81-7304-915-6    2011   252p.   Rs.645/ pounds 45


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International and Transnational Political Actors: Case Studies from the Indian Diaspora


International and Transnational Political Actors: Case Studies from the Indian Diaspora

By- Eric Leclerc (ed.)


This volume explores a new field of Indian diasporic studies, the relations between international and transnational political actors. A number of issues have already been raised for the Indian diaspora: the question of identity in the host country, both in terms of religion or caste, as well as economic issues of integration in overseas territories and remittances to India, and impact of the brain drain on India. But the trans-State political activities involving the Indian diaspora have hardly been addressed so far. The book affords us an opportunity to analyse the construction of these new actors in international relations, in their many forms: lobbying, political parties, cultural associations.

The ten papers collected in this volume look at the role of Indian diaspora in international relations, within and beyond the traditional triangular framework of diaspora, State of origin and host State. The involvement of Indian diaspora in international relations has been assessed on two criteria: its global expansion; and how it defines new areas of legitimacy. The picture depicted for other diasporas (Jewish, Kurdish, Palestinian, Sri Lankan Tamil) is complemented and enriched here by the case of India.

The volume is organized into two thematic sections. The first is from the point of view of the Indian State, its involvement with the Indian diaspora overseas or with various diasporas on its territory. The second focus is on the diaspora actor through the study of few Indian communities. The contributors explore the processes of building transnational political actors in the Indian diaspora.



Eric Leclerc is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Rouen (France). He started his research in south India on developmental issues, both in rural areas as well as in small towns.




ISBN  978-81-7304-925-5    2011   246p.   Rs.650/ pounds 45


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Indo-French Perspectives on Local Government and Democracy



Indo-French Perspectives on Local Government and Democracy

By- Lucy Baugnet and Girish Kumar (eds.)


Can practices of local level democracy in France and India as fostered by their local governments be compared? If contextualized in terms of their respective geographical expanse intertwined with their political history, levels of economic development, demographic attributes and cultural moorings, comparison would, at best be shallow. But juxtapose them in the context of their contemporary political developments and a viable common ground would appear, rendering their seemingly divergent features irrelevant. After all, starting from the inauguration of the Fifth Republic in France in 1958 and Independent India declaring itself a ‘Republic’ in 1950, both countries embarked on their post-war journey as highly centralized States.

Following several abortive or partially successful reform measures adopted in the next four decades, they eventually took bold strides in the 1990s, ushering profound changes in their respective governing structures and other areas, including creating space for political representation of women and marginalized sections. Going beyond their earlier tryst with the halting pace of multi-level decentralization, these moves were somewhat influenced by the decentralization wave that swept the world in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Set against this backdrop, the purpose of this volume, the first of its kind, is to sensitize readers with the nuances of democratic decentralization, viewed from both the angles of demand and supply in India as well as France.


Lucy Baugnet is Full Professor in Social Psychology and Counsellor for International Relations at the University of Picardy Jules Verne.
Girish Kumar is Senior Fellow, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi.

ISBN  978-81-7304-916-3    2011   322p.   Rs.800/ Pounds 50

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Descriptive Topographical Catalogue of Orissan Inscriptions


Descriptive Topographical Catalogue of Orissan Inscriptions

By- Snigdha Tripathy

The present book covers a subject of immense value, the epigraphic records of Orissa, the most indispensable source for the reconstruction of its history and culture. Present-day Orissa can now boast of a long chequered history of its own, exclusively due to its immense epigraphic wealth.

Material on inscriptions of different periods, dynasties and localities of Orissa and in the territories which once had formed the Orissan dominions in the past or that have a bearing on the history of this land, are scattered in various periodicals and unpublished works and rarely available to scholars and researchers. For their systematic study, a comprehensive descriptive and topographical catalogue of Orissan inscriptions like the present one. has so far remained a great desideratum for the benefit of students and researchers working on Orissan as well as Indian history and culture.

This volume, the first of its kind, which presents the material in an authentic, analytical and systematic way is sure to remain a source book for serious researchers and students for years to come.

Snigdha Tripathy obtained her M.A. in ancient History and Ph. D. in Numismatics in 1967 and 1983 respectively from the Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. She worked as an epigraphist in the Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar and retired in 2003.



ISBN  978-81-7304-840-1    2010   1190p.   Rs.4000/ pounds 185


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Debrahmanising History: Dominance and Resistance in Indian Society


Debrahmanising History: Dominance and Resistance in Indian Society

By- Braj Ranjan Mani


Egalitarianism is neither alien to India nor the gift of the West. Marginalized people everywhere have always aspired to build an egalitarian world. Espousing the perspective of the non-elites, this book brings out the beauty and resilience of a counter-tradition by visiting some of the major sites of resistance and creativity from below. Ranged against caste and brahmanism, this rational-liberating tradition is to be found in the heterodoxies of various inclinations, particularly Buddhism, the movements of subaltern saint-poets, Sufism and Sikhism.

This legacy was carried forward in modern India by, more than anybody else, Phule, Iyothee Thass, Narayana Guru, Periyar, and Ambedkar. Recognizing the power of culture in the politics of transformation, they had emancipatory visions that embraced the whole of an Indian experience, and stand firmly as an alternative to Tilak-Savarkarite, Gandhian, and Nehruvian visions. Their determined, but diverse and resourceless struggles, fought in the teeth of opposition from the caste elites, could not arrest the neo-brahmanism which under colonial patronage and the archeology of knowledge derived from Orientalism went on to reincarnate – and nationalize – itself into octopus-like Hinduism. Their sublime failure adds to their enduring appeal to the marginalised as old forms of hierarchy and hegemony menacingly morph into new structures of inequality in post-1947 India.

In some studies, the egalitarian orientation of this tradition is belatedly being recognised but it is seldom integrated with macro-level theoretical studies on Indian culture and society. An attempt in that direction, this searing critique of caste and dominant historiography is meant for all those who are – or want to be – part of the ongoing struggle for human liberation.


Braj Ranjan Mani writes on Indian society and culture from the perspective of the marginalised majority.






ISBN  81-7304-648-4    2011   456p.   Rs.394/ Pounds 22

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Cultural Revolt in a Colonial Society: The Non-Brahman Movement in Western India



Cultural Revolt in a Colonial Society: The Non-Brahman Movement in Western India

By- Gail Omvedt


The colonial period saw important social movements in India. Among the strongest of these was non-Brahman movement in Maharashtra. Its founder was a remarkable intellectual and social activist from the gardener (Mali) caste, Jotirao Phule (1827-90). His writings laid the foundations of the movement, and the Satyashodhak Samaj (“Truthseekers Society”) which he founded in 1873, became its primary radical organization, lasting until the 1930s.

Shahu Maharaj, the Maratha maharaja of Kolhapur, who turned against Brahmans because they considered him a shudra, and became radicalized from this, was a major patron. The heyday of the movement took place between 1910 and 1930, when the Satyashodhak Samaj carried the message of anti-caste anti-Brahmanism throughout Maharashtra; one of its offshoots was a strong peasant movement.

In the 1920s a political party emerged, as did Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s Dalit movement, which drew sustenance also from support of the non-Brahmans and patrons such as Shahu Maharaj. Young radicals such as Keshavrao Jedhe and Dinkarrao Javalkar challenged Brahman cultural dominance in Pune and intervened in the Brahman-dominated Communist movement in Mumbai.

By the 1930s, however, the movement died away as the majority of its activists joined Congress. It has left a strong heritage, but the failure to really link nationalism with a strong anti-caste movement has left a heritage of continued and often unadmitted dominance of caste in Indian society today.

This classic study on the non-Brahman movement in western India is invaluable for scholars of sociology, caste movements, Dalit studies and colonialism.



Gail Omvedt currently holds the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Chair of Social Change and Development at IGNOU.




ISBN  978-81-7304-927-9    2011   332p.   Rs.895/ pounds 50

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Centres Out There?: Facets of Subregional Identities in Orissa


Centres Out There?: Facets of Subregional Identities in Orissa

By- Hermann Kulke and Georg Berkemer (eds.)


In the 1970s, the first Orissa Research Project (ORP), financed by the German Research Council and conducted by the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University, revealed vital elements of Oriya identity and culture by its extensive research on the cult of Jagannath and the temple city of Puri. In 1999, the second ORP, ‘Various Identities: Socio-Cultural Profiles of Orissa in Historical and Regional Perspectives’ was sanctioned until 2005.

Whereas the former project focused on the dominant discourses of coastal Orissa, the second project was periphery oriented in a double sense. Geographically it extended its studies to the hinterland of coastal Orissa, and sociologically it gave a stronger emphasis on its peripheral or subaltern folk and tribal groups. With its complementary studies, the second ORP attempts to give a comprehensive view of the polymorphic and polycentric pattern of the great regional tradition of Orissa. They reveal the inherent vitality and dynamics of India’s regional traditions by paradigmatic studies on the genesis, historical development, competition and integration of various local and subregional traditions of Orissa.

Major themes of the present volume are narrative and ritual traditions of the former Feudatory States and their emergence as Centres Out There as well as studies on various ‘Facets of Subregional Identities’ and their impact on the urban culture of coastal Orissa. They shed light on issues which are generally not in the centre of academic research, like the central agency of women in folk performances and the social formation of tribal societies.

Hermann Kulke is retired Professor of South and Southeast Asian History at Kiel University.
Georg Berkemer is Senior Lecturer of South Asian History and Languages at Humboldt University, Berlin.




ISBN  978-81-7304-906-4    2011   436p.   Rs.1350/ pounds 85
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