Critical Themes in Indian Sociology brings together the writings of a number of scholars—both well established and younger, in India and in different parts of the world—on various themes that express the richness and diversity that defines sociological scholarship on India. The book reflects changes in scholarship over time and charts out new subjects and methods for the study of social life in India. Commemorating the 50 plus years since Contributions to Indian Sociology was first published, this book is a tribute to a journal that has sustained an internationally acclaimed and rigorous sociological engagement with India. Comprising a wide range of themes such as village, city, class, caste, politics, gender, sexuality, media, food and education, this book presents a concise, yet in-depth sense of a sociological view of India today.

The Nation, De-duplicated

The nation, de-duplicated
Lawrence Cohen

Cards on the Table

There is this table at a coffee house in Delhi where a talkative group of retired men, some former journalists, sit in the afternoons. On occasion, I join them to get advice on new projects.

It was the summer of 2012. Like many, I was beginning to think about India's much publicised national biometric identity, branded Aadhaar, Hindi for ‘foundation’. I had just made a photostat copy of a friend's Aadhaar card. I frequently had conversations with strangers and friends about Aadhaar cards that had or had not arrived in the post. One of the men at the table watched me writing notes on the photostat: this led to a question on ...

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