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Saraswati Vijayam

By Potheri Kunhambu
Translated from the Malayalam by Dilip Menon
Past Continuous: Series Editor Meenakshi Mukherjee

Saraswativijayam celebrates English education for untouchables as a means of escaping subordination. Potheri Kunhambu was only too conscious of the radical possibilities opened up for lower castes by colonial modernity.

An arrogant brahmin landlord causes the 'death' of his slave for the crime of singing a song in his presence. However in the time of colonial law, traditional society could not cover up its excesses... View Details

2002, pp. 115, ISBN 81-88434-01-9, Rs. 200.00


By Gurajada Venkata Appa Rao Translated from the Telugu by C. Vijaysree and T. Vijay Kumar
Past Continuous: Series Editor Meenakshi Mukherjee

Kanyasulkam is often hailed as the first 'modern' text in Telugu, but it is also one of the earliest to have critiqued the colonial models of modernity. Appa Rao, who was himself a part of the movement for reform in the nineteenth century, not only saw the ambivalences and inconsistencies in the ideologies of reform of his own time but exposed them with critical discernment in Kanyasulkam. The play first published in 1897 and later revised and expanded in 1909, deals not only with the evil practice of bride-price, but also with several inter-related social issues of the time like child marriage, widow remarriage, and the 'nautch question'. The playwright's intent is serious, but his essential dramatic mode is comedy. Through humour and levity Appa Rao foregrounded an encounter between tradition and modernity that has not lost its relevance even today. View Details

2002, pp. 273, ISBN 81-88434-00-0, Rs.350

On The Threshold:Songs of Chokhamela

By Rohini Mokashi-Punekar Translated from the Marathi by Rohini Mokkashi-Punekar. Foreword by Suguna Ramanathan
Past Continuous: Series Editor Meenakshi Mukherjee

Chokhamela was a fourteenth century untouchable saint poet who belonged to the varkari tradition of Maharashtra. This tradition was one of the many sects that questioned orthodox Hinduism in the great wave of the bhakti movement that swept over medieval India. The varkaris worship Vitthal, another form of Krishna who himself is an avatar of Vishnu in Hindu mythology. The temple for Vitthal is built on the banks of the river Chandrabhaga in Pandharpur. The varkari tradition is a tradition of belief and worship that is still a living part of the Marathi speaking culture. Chokhamela's importance lies not only in the fact that he is one of the first, if not the very first, dalit writers of India. It is because his poetry records a peculiar dichotomy: his poignant awareness and questioning of his outcaste marginality, simultaneously coupled with a realization of Vitthal's need and love for him, an untouchable, that it assumes significance. View Details

2002, pp. 115, ISBN 81-88434-02-7, Rs.200.00


By Bankim Chandra Chatterji Translated from the Bengali by Gautam Chakvararty
Past Continuous: Series Editor Meenakshi Mukherjee

Kapalakundala, set around the year 1604-1605 when the Mughal state was still subduing the newly acquired province of Bengal weaves together events that take place across two cultural worlds. The first is the caste Hindu world of the pilgrims, of Nabakumar, Kapalakundala, the kapalika and the adhikari, which turns on questions of love, marriage, womanly virtue, priestly and tantric ritual, on the codes and conventions of Hindu marriage, and the contrast between the householder's life and that of the ascetic. Alongside this insular provincial world there is the world of Agra and the imperial court, which are the space of political expediency and sexual license, of wealth, power, cunning and worldly sophistication. View Details

2005, pp. 111, ISBN 81-88434-03-5, 320.00

Putting People at the Centre: Human Security Issues in Asia

By Anuradha M. Chenoy

The concept of national security is about the means that states use for the maintenance of territorial integrity, internal cohesion and political order. The protection and enhancement of individual and communal human rights is the starting point in the alternative paradigm of the human security concept. This has evolved into 'a life of dignity' and encompasses security, development and human rights.

Putting People at the Centre has brought together writers qualified in their respective fields of involvement especially in the promotion and projection of concerns, issues and programmes involving human security in their own countries. View Details

ARENA in association with The Book Review Literary Trust2006, pp. 218, ISBN 81-88434-06-6, 315.00

War, Peace and Hegemony in a Globalized World: The Changing Balance of Power in the twenty-first Century

Edited by Chandra Chari

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the attack on the World Trade Center shook up the international system which had been in place for four decades after the Second World War. The emergence of the United States as the sole superpower, and the unilateralist propensities in its actions in the international arena, have given rise to a debate on the nature of hegemony and the need to work towards a more equitable international order in the twenty-first century. This book focuses on how the US could adapt its foreign-policy initiatives to fit in with the growing aspirations of a multipolar world for a more balanced international order.

Part I presents analyses of global perspectives on war, peace and hegemony, and the role of the United States. In Part II, each region of the world is examined in the context of the unfolding processes of globalization; the various ways in which economic and socio-political organizations are impacting inter- and intra-regionally; and the role of the United States vis--vis the individual countries and regions. View Details

Routledge in association with The Book Review Literary Trust, New Delhi2008, pp. 235, ISBN No. 978-0-415-43577-2, 00.00

Superpower Rivalry and Conflict: The Long Shadow of the Cold War on the twenty-first Century

Edited by Chandra Chari

Superpower Rivalry and Conflict examines the trajectory of the Cold War and the fallouts for the rest of the world to seek lessons for the twenty-first century to manage international relations today and avoid conflict. Written by experts in their field, the chapters provide an alternative perspective to the western-paradigm dominated international relations theory. The book examines the changing economic balance of power thrown up by globalization which has led to the emergence of a multipolar world capable of economic and multilateral cooperation. It discusses the potential of new cooperative security frameworks which would provide an impetus to disarmament and protection of the environment globally and offers Asian perspectives on these issues-perspectives from countries like Afghanistan, Vietnam, West Asia and Pakistan which were embroiled in the Cold War as mere pawns and which have become flashpoints for conflict in our century. View Details

Routledge in association with The Book Review Literary Trust,, New Delhi2010, pp. 253, ISBN 978-0-415-55025-3, 00.00

The Inner Mirror: Kannada Writings on Society and Culture

Edited by A.R. Vasavi Present Continuous: Series Editors Uma Iyengar and Chandra Chari

Some contemporary writings in Kannada are evocative testimonies to the complexities of life in India. Yet, they remain marginal and have not been incorporated into the English sociological or anthropological discussions on either regional or Indian society and culture. As social commentaries, several Kannada writings highlight the complexities and contradictions of societies and combine cultural criticism with sociological reflexivity. Drawing on multiple sources such as folk and oral traditions, personal experiences and observations, and even classical literature, the essays in this book bridge the gap between representations of oral and literary sources. Many of the essays encapsulate the experiences and voices of a range of persons, and represent issues, trends, events and processes that remain under-represented in English language social science writings on India. View Details

2010, (first reprint 2011), pp. 216, ISBN: 81-88434-04-3, Rs. 395.00 / US$ 18

Civil Disobedience: Two Freedom Struggles, One Life

By L.C. Jain

Lakshmi Chand Jain, the child of India's first freedom movement, spent more than six decades of his life as an impassioned crusader for a just and equitable India. In Civil Disobedience Jain tells the revetting story of the personal influences and experiences that shaped his belief. Jain's university was the dynamic landscape of post-Independence India, his tutors, the inspirational leaders of that era: Jawaharlal Nehru, Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay, Jai Prakash Narayan and his father Phool Chand Jain, a Congress activist and freedom fighter. Starting from beginnings in the family home in Chandni Chowk, through the seething tension of Delhi's Hudson Lines refugee camp in the days after partition, and an early exposure to diplomacy and statecraft as a volunteer-organizer of the Asian Relation Conference hosted by Nehru at Purana Quila, the author was a participant in some of the most exciting people centred experiments of post-Independence India. Mobilizing refugees from the North West Frontier Province in the township of Faridabad, the creation of Cottage Industries Emporium and the Super Bazaar were followed by his plunging into the Bhoodan movement. Jain describes the devastating impact on Indian public life of the Emergency years. Always ambivalent about entering formal office, Jain's description of his time in various Central and State Planning Commission as well as a brief stint as High Commissioner to South Africa in 1997, juxtaposes the limitations of state power with his strong advocacy for democratic decentralization. View Details

2011, pp. 266, ISBN 978-81-88434-05-3, Rs. 395.00

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