The Politics of Culture (Book Review)

2 10 2011


G P Deshpande, The World of Ideas in Modern Marathi: Phule, Vinoba, Savarkar, Tulika, New Delhi, 2009, pp. 120. Rs. 240.

G P Deshpande, Talking the Political Culturally and Other Essays, Thema, Kolkata, 2009, pp. 127, Rs. 150. Read the rest of this entry »

A Liberal Interpretation of India’s Future

2 01 2009

Review of

INDIA EXPRESS: the future of a new superpower

Daniel Lak, Penguin/Viking, New Delhi, 2008, pp. xx + 314, hardcover, Rs. 499, (Indian edition)

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Coming to Terms with Nature (Socialist Register 2007)

23 06 2007


Review of Socialist Register 2007, titled Coming to Terms with Nature; edited by Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, The Merlin Press, London, 2006; published in India by Leftword Books, New Delhi, 2007, pp. xv+363, Rs. 250. This review was published in Down To Earth, 15 June 2007.


The Socialist Register has come to acquire a special place, globally, as an annual document bringing together state-of-the-art thinking within the left. Therefore it is both a welcome step, and one somewhat surprising, that finally in its 43rd edition the Social Register focuses exclusively on issues relating to the environment and the human – nature relation. Read the rest of this entry »

Religious Demography in India

3 03 2007


This is a review of Religious Demography of India, A.P. Joshi, M.D. Srinivas and J.K. Bajaj, Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai, 2003, pp. i-xxii + 358, Rs. 800.

I wrote it in October 2003 when I was working for The Hindu, but unfortunately, it never got published. The issue of “religious demography” remains as important today as ever and the carnards spread by Hindutva propagandists as vile as ever, therefore I am posting this review. Read the rest of this entry »

Coal & End of Oil

21 02 2007

These two books look at the history of human interaction with these two hydrocarbon energy sources which are central to our lives. The combined review was published in Down to Earth in 2006.

Barbara Freese, Coal: A Human History, Arrow Books, London, 2003;

Paul Roberts, The End of Oil: The decline of the petroleum economy and the rise of a new energy order, Bloomsbury, London, 2005.

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India Stinking & Dalits in Dravidian Land

21 02 2007

  • Dalits in Dravidian Land: Frontline Reports on Anti-Dalit Violence in Tamil Nadu (1995 – 2004), S. Viswanathan, Navayana, Pondicherry, 2005, pp. xxxviii + 318, Rs. 300.

  • India Stinking: Manual Scavengers in Andhra Pradesh and their Work, Gita Ramaswamy; Navayana, Pondicherry, 2005, pp. xii + 108 + 8 pages colour photos, Rs. 100.

I reviewed these two books together for HardNews magazine in 2006. India Stinking is perhaps a book everyone should read. It documents, in all its horrendousness, both the conditions of life of the shit cleaners as well as social and governmental responses to their existance.

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Cultivating Development

21 02 2007

This book is a very critical examination of development aid using the tools of anthropological research on a DFID (British Govt) project in India over a decade or so. This review was published in 2006 in the magazine Down to Earth.

Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice, David Mosse, Vistaar Publications, New Delhi, 2005, pp. xvii + ii (maps) + 315, Rs. 380, ISBN 81-7829-601-2 (originally published Pluto Press, London, 2005). Read the rest of this entry »