22 October, 2012
Negotiating The Divine: Temple Religion and Temple Politics in Contemporary Urban India
By- Ursula Rao
The book investigates contemporary discourses on religion in urban India through the prism of Hindu temples. It is based on the material collected during extensive fieldwork in Bhopal between 1996 and 1998. Presenting and interpreting data of the history as well as the ritual, social and political life of two central goddesses temples, the author presents the first comprehensive study of Hindu temples as socio-religious institutions in the urban environment of contemporary India. She also addresses several issues of general importance: questions of changes in community life in urban India with reference to caste and religious communities; the role of traditions in a fast changing cultural environment; the problematic relationship between religion and politics in the political life of India and a critical assessment of discussions of subalternity and resistance. These discussions appear in a new light in a study that avoids the classical dichotomies of politics and religion, tradition and modernity, elite and subaltern. In a detailed analysis of the religious/political practices and reflexive processes of a broad range of people the author shows how discourses are interconnected and dynamically re-created in practice.
Ursula Rao is lecturer in Anthropology at the University Halle, Germany. Her areas of interests are: ritual studies, the relationship bween religion and politics and the anthropology of cultural performances. Most recently she has started a study on the production of news through journalistic practices, with field research located in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
ISBN 81-7304-515-1 2003 186p. Rs.500/Pounds 45
Multiple Marginalities: An Anthology of Identified Dalit Writings
By- Badri Narayan and A.R. Misra (comp. & eds)
This volume compiles popular booklets representing grass-root dissent and protest of the dalit community in north India. Dalits have remained excluded not only from the economic and cultural mainstream of society but also from the ambit of the expression of their existential notions in the hierarchical order of the society. Despite their multiple sociological layers and also multiple expressions, it is the dominant expression produced in the urban and literary centres of India that has been subjected to academic exposition. And yet not much attention is given to the fact that there are multiple voices in print that are being assiduously transmitted in the newly emerged public spheres of this community. It ought to be noted that such voices of the dalits are mere expressions of their identity assertion, political mobilization and capture of political power through the negation of earlier notions of Brahminical history and sociology. An attempt has been made in this volume to compile a small part of this literature for those who wish to undertake an alternative exploration of the political culture of this emerging society in the modern context.
Badri Narayan is at present with the Faculty of Social History, G.B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad.
A.R. Misra is currently with the Faculty of Political Science, G.B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad.
ISBN 978-81-7304-555-4 2004 296p. Rs.600/Pounds 45
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Mountbatten’s Report on the Last Viceroyalty 22 March-15 August 1947
By- Lionel Carter (ed.)
This volume reproduces in full Mountbatten’s own account of the last five months of British rule in India based on reports he sent to London at the time. Written with disarming frankness, we witness the failure of Mountbatten’s initial attempts to secure independence on the basis of a united India. He then turned to some form of agreed partition and his eventual success was achieved after considerable feats of diplomacy. The figures of Gandhi, Jinnah, Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and other key leaders loom large in this account. Mountbatten provides a valuable introductory historical survey and a chapter in which he draws up his conclusions. There are thirteen appendices providing the texts of key documents and an index of the persona involved in these momentous events.
Before becoming the last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten played a major part in the defeat of Japan in the Second World War. He was Supreme Allied Commander, South-East Asia Command between 1943 and 1946. Here he was also responsible for preparing Burma for civilian rule. Mountbatten served as first Governor-General of the new Dominion of India and after he left India in June 1948 he held a number of senior posts. He was First Sea Lord in Britain between 1955 and 1959 and then became (until 1965) Chief of the U.K. Defence Staff.
ISBN 81-7304-516-X 2003 402p. Rs.850/Pounds 60
Missing Boundaries: Refugees, Migrants, Stateless and Internally Displaced Persons in South Asia
By- P.R. Chari, Mallika Joseph and Suba Chandran (eds)
South Asia has 14 per cent of the world’s refugee population and is the principal source and host of refugees. The causes behind the displacement—political instability, armed conflict, lack of resources and so on in South Asia and its immediate neighbourhood have not declined but, in fact, have been increasing; and the security threats posed by the refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) is set to increase, given the lack of resources and poor governance prevalent in the region. Yet, none of the countries in South Asia have signed any major convention or treaty at the international level in regard to refugees; nor have they any national legislation or regional framework to deal with these issues.
A comprehensive study focusing on the various dimensions of displacement in South Asia including refugees, migrants, stateless persons and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) was felt imperative by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
Acknowledging non-traditional sources of insecurity as being the cornerstone of human insecurity, the IPCS had commenced to focus on a range of non-miltary threats to security including Drug Trafficking, Terrorism, Refugees, Organized Crime, Governance and Environmental Issues. The current volume with specific focus on migration and displacement is a small step in that direction.
P.R. Chari, former member of the Indian Administrative Service, is currently Research Professor at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi. He has worked extensively on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and Indian defence issues and has authored many books on these subjects.
Mallika Joseph is Assistant Director at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi. Her research interests include landmines and IEDs, Naxalites, transnational crime and Interpol and has authored works on landmines and IEDs in South Asia.
D. Suba Chandran is Assistant Director at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi and currently is working on the Ford Foundation study on India’s Security Problematique. He has worked on Pakistan, Kashmir, Indo-Pak relations and suicide terrorism.
ISBN 81-7304-503-8 2003 222p. Rs.450/Pounds 40
Medieval Central Asia: Polity, Economy and Military Organization
(Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries)
By- Mansura Haidar
The volume is the first of its kind as no other work based on original sources and exclusively dealing with the above subject in such detail is available. Central Asia has remained to be a world apart though its institutions, administrative terminology, methods of warfare, pattern of handicrafts seem to flicker in many other civilizations. The wide spectrum of the study and varied contents of this book depict multifarious aspects of Central Asian history ranging from civil to military organization, tribal to settled, agrarian to artisan population and the life and activities of Naqshbandi saints in the state business. It further deals with political setup, changing notions of state craft, economic structure, system of taxation which go to make the medieval Central Asian life come alive.
Mansura Haidar is a well-known specialist on history and culture of Central Asia. She has been teaching Islamic History, History of Central and West Asia and medieval and modern Indian history at the Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University for the past thirty-eight years. She has a profound knowledge of Islamic history both in terms of vastness of sphere and span and her information is based on an indepth study of the original sources.
ISBN 978-81-7304-554-7 2004 523p. Rs.995/Pounds 70