Thursday, 9 October 2014

Social, Street Corner, Hindu And Duty Destiny

Duty, Destiny and Glory: The Life of C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar by  A. Raghu from Orient Blackswan.

C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar, famously known as C.P., was born in 1879 to a marriage that was a celebrated union of two leading Tamil Brahmin families. He became one of India’s greatest constitutional lawyers, a passionate general secretary of the Indian National Congress, a loyal dewan of the princely state of Travancore and vice-chancellor of two different universities simultaneously. In the midst of a lecturing tour at universities in London and Oxford in 1966, C.P. breathed his last.

Inheriting an immense fortune through his mother, and an iron resolve to pursue academic excellence from his father, C.P. was the ‘prize boy’ at school and college, and he quickly rose to become a top lawyer at the Madras bar. He also became the youngest advocate-general of Madras. His undying zeal took him to the governor’s executive council, the viceroy’s executive council and the League of Nations. And as he advised the maharaja of Travancore through political intrigues, he grew unpopular and narrowly escaped an assassination attempt.

This biographer presents C.P.’s life through the diligent execution of his duties; an obedient son, a nurturing senior lawyer, a lieutenant in the Besantine Congress faction, an administrator dedicated to nation building and social reform, and an academic in relentless pursuit of intellectual excellence. We are shown a man who inherits the will to prove the stars wrong and script his own destiny, establishing a legacy in legal, political and academic worlds. And this glory—with its accompanying very human failings—has been told with an elegance that is too charming to miss. Duty, Destiny and Glory will interest students of biography, modern Indian history and political science, as well as the general reader.

In our Biography section, Rs. 525, in hardback, 216 pages, ISBN : 9788125055693

Hindu–Catholic Engagements in Goa: Religion, Colonialism, and Modernity by Alexander Henn from Orient Blackswan.

Vasco Da Gama’s celebrated passage to India (1497–99) not only initiated a period of Christian expansion, in which Jesuit missionaries declared war to the alleged ‘idolatry’ of Hindus. The engagement with the until then largely unknown and unexpectedly rich culture of Hinduism was also part of profound modern transformations that, in the long run, lead Christian Europe to recognize the plurality of religions around the globe.

Hindu–Catholic Engagements in Goa offers a novel perspective on the Portuguese empire and Catholic hegemony in Asia that for almost half a millennium—from 1510 to 1961—had its capital in Goa. Based on fresh archival studies and extensive ethnography, it reveals the dramatic role of religion at the beginning of colonialism and modernity and provides insight into Goa’s intricate Hindu-Catholic syncretism today. Hindu village gods and Catholic patron saints commonly attract veneration from people of the respective ‘Other’ religious community and, yet, do not create confusion between the distinct identities of Hindus and Catholics. At the core of this seeming syncretistic paradox lies a communal concern for neighborhood, genealogy, protection and health that, at times, overrules doctrinal divides in the village communities.

Hindus and Catholics share trust in communicating with the divine and holy in ways that occasionally favor ritual over belief and appreciate substance before meaning. Contrary to postcolonial theories of ‘Othering’, this book identifies religion thus as an inherently hybrid dimension of the intersection of colonialism and modernity and identifies local, rather than universal and epistemic, rather than ethical principles at the core of Goa’s remarkable religious pluralism. This book will be welcomed by scholars and students of history, anthropology, postcolonial theory, and cultural studies. It will also appeal to informed readers who are interested in the making of early modern Goa.

In our Anthropology section, Rs. 725, in hardback, 228 pages, ISBN : 9788125055211
Sales Restriction: Sale In SAARC Countries Only

Street Corner Secrets: Sex, Work, and Migration in the City of Mumbai by Svati P. Shah from Orient Blackswan.

Street Corner Secrets challenges widespread notions of sex work in India by examining solicitation in three spaces within the city of Mumbai where sexual commerce may be solicited alongside other income-generating activities. These spaces—brothels, streets, and public day-wage labor markets (nakas)—are seldom placed within the same analytic frame. Focusing on women who had migrated to Mumbai from rural, economically underdeveloped areas within India, Svati P. Shah argues that selling sexual services is one of a number of ways women working as laborers may earn a living, demonstrating that sex work, like day labor, is a part of India's vast informal economy.

Here, various means of earning—legitimized or stigmatized, legal or illegal—overlap or exist in close proximity to one another, shaping a narrow field of livelihood options that women navigate daily. In the course of this rich ethnography, Shah discusses policing practices, migrants' access to housing and water, the production of public space, critiques of states and citizenship, and the location of violence within debates on sexual commerce.

Throughout, the book analyzes the role the city plays in the changing contours of sexual commerce in Mumbai, as well as showing the highly contingent ways in which knowledge about sexual commerce and sex work is being constructed. Ultimately, the book maps the silences and secrets that constitute local discourses of sexual commerce on Mumbai's streets. This book will be of particular interest to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology, urban studies, and gender and sexuality studies.

In our Anthropology section, Rs. 785, in hardback, 296 pages, ISBN : 9788125056287
Sales Restriction: Sale In SAARC Countries Only

Social Inclusion in Independent India: Dimensions and Approaches by T. K. Oommen from Orient Blackswan.

This book discusses the various forms of social and economic exclusion (discrimination and marginalisation) that persist in contemporary India, and how they may be remedied. It argues that a welfare state can be created by securing social, economic and political justice for the socially and educationally backward classes of citizens.

It argues that inclusive growth and human development can be achived only by ensuring equality of status and opportunity for the vulnerable sections of society. It suggests affirmative action/positive discriminatio —reservation of seats in education institutuions and reservation in jobs—that may be adopted to build a more inclusive society. This proposition is examined with reference to nine excluded social categories—Dalits, Adivasis, subalterns, religious and linguistic minorities, women, migrants, the poor, and the disabled.

In our Anthropology section, Rs. 725, in hardback, 352 pages, ISBN : 9788125056294

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