This collection analyzes and assesses the complexities of contemporary India's socio-economic reality from multiple perspectives. The contributors comprise eminent thinkers and grassroot activists from diverse fields like the judiciary, social development, environment, education, contemporary science, and art. Unlike the bulk of available literature on emerging India, which focuses mainly on the positives, these articles posit contrary views, necessary for a balanced, objective understanding of the issues.

The Other India: Realities of an Emerging Power talks of an India far removed from the India of glass and steel high-rises and air-conditioned schools; glistening malls and multiplexes; and fashion shows, Bollywood, and T20 cricket. It explores issues like the role of spirituality in social justice, conflicts associated with false religious identities including terrorism, the dangers of mindless destruction of nature and the consequent disempowerment of people dependent upon it, and so on. In this volume, dispassionate analysis of history and contemporary forces alternate with straight-from-the-heart narratives of grassroot activists. Candid despair shares space with encouraging stories of collective action bringing about real change.

This book will hold tremendous appeal for the general reader and will also be useful for academics and thinkers working in the fields of sociology, environment, education, human rights, law and justice, development issues, and politics.

An Aesthetic of Erasures*

An aesthetic of erasures

While notionally I am writing about the tightening noose in India around the concept of artistic freedoms, I wish to flag the point that what I have to say is situated within the larger assaults being mounted on constitutional democracy itself, as V.S. Naipaul's old idea of India as the site of “a million mutinies now” begins to play itself out.

Since Independence, there have been several legitimate reasons why, at any given moment in the past 60-odd years, at least 30 percent of India has wanted to secede from the Union. However, marauders and political buccaneers too have been steadily chipping away at the frame of the Constitution, reducing it to a paralyzed document.

Over the past few decades, ...

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