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Privileged Minorities: Syrian Christianity, Gender, and Minority Rights in Postcolonial India by Sonja Thomas : Rs955 ISBN: 9789352875184

The Syrian Christians of Kerala are considered ‚€œtraditional,‚€ or ‚€œnative‚€ Christians in India.  They trace their conversion to the year 52CE, when St. Thomas reportedly converted Hindu Brahmins to Christianity.  Although Christians are demographically a minority in India, the Syrian Christians are not a marginalised community. They are caste-, race-, and class-privileged, and have long benefitted, both economically and socially, from their privileged position.

In Privileged Minorities, Sonja Thomas questions the assumed link between numerical minorities and political vulnerability. She explores how this community sheds light on larger questions of multiple oppressions, privilege and subordination, racialization, and religion and secularism in India.

Thomas examines a wide range of sources, including clothing, oral histories, interviews, and legislative assembly debates, to question the relationships between religious rights and women's rights. Using an intersectional approach and US women of colour feminist theory, she demonstrates the ways that race, caste, gender, religion, and politics are inextricably connected, giving rise to both alliances across upper-caste/middle-class communities and dissimilar experiences amongst women in minority rights movements. 

Privileged Minorities asks not only if women benefit from the struggle for minority rights, but also which women are in a position to benefit, and what sort of benefit it is. By focusing on inequalities within groups and alliances across others, Thomas lays the groundwork for imagining how new feminist solidarities across religions, castes, races, and classes can be achieved.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of feminist studies, religious studies, anthropology and sociology.

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Bhisma Devavrata: Authority in Epic Mahabharata by Kevin McGrath : Rs945 ISBN: 9789352872015

So Bhisma, the son of Sastanu, Grand-father of the Bharatas,
Learned, a knower of time and place, knower of truth, aware
of all dharma ‚€¶

A plethora of complex and nuanced characters populate the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. One in particular stands tall even today as the face of moral authority‚€”Bhisma Devavrata, the eldest of the Kuru clan. In this book, the prolific scholar of Indic and Greek classics, Kevin McGrath, studies in microscopic detail the authority of this pitamaha, ‚€˜grand-father‚€™/patriarch, and explores why he still resonates with 21st century India.

Does Bhisma leave a lasting impression on us because of his steadfast loyalty and maintaining of vows, even when dharma dictates that he do otherwise? Or, if we could challenge conventional wisdom, is it because Bhisma (and not Arjuna) is the sole recipient and embodiment of cosmic inspiration from Krisna?

Relying on close and careful readings of the Bombay and Pune Critical editions of the grand epic, and drawing mainly on the text of the latter, this book describes the manner in which Bhisma negotiates the tortuous path of honourable and principled living. It describes how Bhisma‚€™s express decisions pave the way for the collapse of his clan and the partition of the kingdom, despite his consistent efforts to prevent it.

This book is the first study to view Bhisma as a hero and moral authority. This elegant literary exploration into one of the world‚€™s great epics will interest students and scholars of South Asian studies, cultural studies, and the classics.

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Hindu Pasts : Women, Religion, Histories by Vasudha Dalmia : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178245263

In her Introduction to this book‚€”which showcases her work as a scholar of social, literary, and religious history‚€”Vasudha Dalmia outlines the central ideas which thread her writings: first, to understand in greater historical depth the relationship between language, religion, and society in India, as well as the ever-changing role of its religious and social institutions; second, to recognize that the Hindu tradition, which colonials and nationalists tend to see as monolithic, is in fact a multiplicity of distinct and semi-autonomous strands.

Professor Dalmia‚€™s work reveals a steady focus on Indian religious traditions, sects, and histories which, over several hundred years, came to collectively comprise what in the nineteenth century became known as Hinduism. In her first essay, Max MŁller‚€™s study of the Veda is positioned within a larger history of German philosophical interest in eastern thought. MŁller appears less an exceptional German scholar and eccentric Oxford phenomenon once his derivation and links with earlier European Indology are made clear.

Subsequent essays look at the building blocks of colonial knowledge-formation, law-making, and pedagogy in colonial India, and the role in these of Banaras; at some of the major components of the Vaishnava Bhakti tradition; at pre-modern vernacular narratives that fed into constructing the modern Hindi novel and the Hindu ‚€˜nari‚€™; and at the history of modern Hindi literature.

Anyone interested in the plurality of Hinduism, women‚€™s issues, and Indian cultural history will find this book immensely interesting.

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History, Bhakti, And Public Memory - Namdev in Religious and Secular Traditions by Christian Lee Novetzke : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178245287

Namdev is a central figure in the cultural history of India, especially within the field of bhakti, a devotional practice that has created publics of memory for over eight centuries. Born in the Marathi-speaking region of the Deccan in the late thirteenth century, Namdev is remembered as a simple, low-caste Hindu tailor whose innovative performances of devotional songs spread his fame widely. He is central to many religious traditions within Hinduism, as well as to Sikhism, and he is a key early literary figure in Maharashtra, northern India, and Punjab.

In the modern period, Namdev appears throughout the public spheres of Marathi and Hindi and in India at large, where his identity fluctuates between regional associations and a quiet, pan-Indian, nationalist-secularist profile that champions the poor, oppressed, marginalized, and low caste. Christian Lee Novetzke considers the way social memory coheres around the figure of Namdev from the sixteenth century to the present, examining the practices that situate Namdev's memory in multiple historical publics. Focusing primarily on Maharashtra and drawing on ethnographies of devotional performance, archival materials, scholarly historiography, and popular media, especially film, Novetzke vividly illustrates how religious communities in India preserve their pasts and, in turn, create their own historical narratives.

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Mobilizing Krishna‚€™s World: The Writings of Prince Savant Singh of Kishangarh by Heidi R. M. Pauwels : Rs925 ISBN: 9789352871278

Savant Singh (1694‚€“1764), the Rajput prince of Kishangarh, is famous for commissioning beautiful works of miniature painting and composing Krishna bhakti poetry under the nom de plume Nagaridas. Behind the idyllic world of the poetry and paintings lies a tragic life story: while designated the crown prince by his father, he never managed to ascend the throne, losing it to his younger brother. In the political tumult of the mid-eighteenth century, it proved hard to forge the necessary military alliances to regain his kingdom.

While on the road, seeking support for his cause, Savant Singh continued composing poetry. This book studies three of his more lengthy works authored in this turbulent period: an autobiographical pilgrimage account, Tirthananda; a hagiographic anthology, Pad- prasang-mala; and a reworking of the story of Rama, Ram-carit-mala. While mobilizing soldiers, Savant Singh also mobilized myths, songs, and stories about saints to cope with his personal and political crisis. 

In Tirthananda, Nagaridas focuses on the comfort of the satsang he finds in tirthas along the way, and in Braj where he settled down. His account of how major festivals were celebrated in Braj at the time provides historical depth to today‚€™s calendar cycle of this center of Krishna pilgrimage. In Pad-prasang-mala, he provides anecdotes that attest to the popularity of his favorite devotional songs, including those in Sanskrit by Jayadeva, in Marathi by Namdev, in Gujarati by Narsi Mehta, in Sant Bhasha by Kabir and Raidas, in Avadhi by Tulsidas, and of course in Braj by Mira, Surdas, Svami Haridas, and many others.

Finally, in his anthology Ram-carit-mala, he reworks the story of Rama, which acquires a poignant existential meaning for him as a prince in exile with his throne usurped by his brother.

Mobilizing Krishna's World allows us a glimpse into a world of intrigue involving political and religious reform movements, but one that also provides a promise of comfort in turbulent times.

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Raja Yudhisthira: Kingship in Epic Mahabharata by Kevin McGrath : Rs1050 ISBN: 9789386392732

In Raja Yudhi??hira, Kevin McGrath brings his literary, ethnographic, and analytical knowledge of the Mahabharata to bear on the representation of kingship in the epic. He shows how the Mahabharata depicts both archaic and classical models of kingly and premonetary polity and how the king becomes a ruler who is seen as ritually divine. McGrath then addresses the idea of heroic religion in antiquity and the present, for bronze-age heroes still receive great devotional worship in modern India and communities continue to clash at the sites that have been‚€”for millennia‚€”associated with these epic figures.

One of the most important contributions of Raja Yudhi??hira is the revelation that neither of the contesting side of the royal Hastinapura clan triumphs in the end, for it is the Yadava band of K???a that achieves real victory. That is, it is the matriline and not the patriline that secures ultimate success: it is the kinship group of K???a‚€”the heroic figure who was to become the dominant Vai??ava icon of classical India‚€”who benefits most from the terrible Bharata war.

This book will appeal to scholars in the field of Mahabharata Studies as well as to students of early Hinduism and of late bronze-age cultural and political tradition. It will also be of interest to scholars of early Indian history, kinship, religious studies, and poetry.

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Unconditional Equality: Gandhi‚€™s Religion of Resistance by Ajay Skaria : Rs595 ISBN: 9788178245102

Unconditional Equality examines Mahatma Gandhi‚€™s critique of liberal ideas of freedom and equality, and his own practice of a freedom and equality organized around religion.

Sometimes working against the grain of Gandhi‚€™s explicit formulations, Unconditional Equality reconceives satyagraha (passive resistance) as a politics that strives for the absolute equality of all beings. Liberal traditions usually affirm an abstract equality. But for Gandhi such equality is an ‚€œequality of [the] sword‚€‚€”because it excludes those presumed to lack reason (such as animals or the colonized), but also because those included lose the power to love.

Gandhi professes instead a politics organized around dharma, or religion. For him, there can be ‚€œno politics without religion.‚€ This involves self-surrender, a freely offered surrender of autonomy and everyday sovereignty. For Gandhi, the ‚€œreligion that stays in all religions‚€ is satyagraha.

Ajay Skaria argues that, conceptually, satyagraha insists on equality without exception of all humans, animals, and things.

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Gitanjali Reborn: William Radice‚€™s Writings on Rabindranath Tagore by Martin Kšmpchen (Ed) : Rs850 ISBN: 9789383166152

After his path-breaking translation of Tagore‚€™s poems in 1985, Radice evolved into an ambassador of the poet in the Western world. He also translated Tagore‚€™s short stories and brief poems, and finally translated Gitanjali afresh, restoring Tagore‚€™s original English manuscript. W.B. Yeats had, in his attempt to edit them, seriously tampered with many Gitanjali poems.

From 2011 to 2013, when the poet‚€™s 150th birth anniversary was celebrated, Radice went from city to city in Asia, Europe and North America to advocate Rabindranath‚€™s importance as a poet and what he means to him.

Radice, himself a recognised poet and an erudite scholar, delved into the deeper meaning of Tagore‚€™s poems and songs, gauged his emotions and hidden thoughts and discussed his ideas on education and the environment with an insight probably no other Westerner has. This book presents a comprehensive collection of lectures and essays Radice wrote during those festival years.

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Shades of Difference: Selected Writings of Rabindranath Tagore by Radha Chakravarty (Ed.) : Rs650 ISBN: 9789383166107

This unusual collection brings together Tagore‚€™s writings on forms of difference based on gender, caste, class, nation, community, religion, social customs and political beliefs. Via new translations, along with Tagore‚€™s own writings, lectures and conversations, this illustrated anthology presents his complex, dynamic approach to commonly perceived dualities ‚€“ like life/ death, nature/ culture, tradition/ modernity, East/ West, local/ universal etc.- to highlight his humanistic vision and its significance for us today.
The accompanying Audio Visual Material, Tagore & His World, provides a broader context for Tagore‚€™s evolution as a thinker and artist, offering glimpses of his life, travels, educational vision and creative experiments in the visual and performing arts.

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The Afterlife of Sai Baba: Competing Visions of a Global Saint by Karline McLain : Rs1095 ISBN: 9788125063131

Nearly a century after his death, the image of Sai Baba, the serene old man with a white beard from Shirdi village in Maharashtra, is instantly recognizable to most South Asians (and many Westerners) as a guru for all faiths. During his lifetime Sai Baba accepted all followers who came to him, regardless of their religion, caste, or gender, and preached to them a path of spiritual enlightenment and mutual tolerance. These days, tens of thousands of Indians and foreigners make the pilgrimage to Shirdi each year, and Sai Baba temples have sprung up in unlikely places around the world, such as Munich, Seattle, and Austin.

Tracing his rise from village guru to global phenomenon, Karline McLain uses a wide range of sources‚€”hagiographies and memoirs, songs and films, posters and photographs, temple rituals and sermons, fieldwork and interviews‚€”to investigate the different ways that Sai Baba has been understood in South Asia and beyond and the reasons behind his popularity amongst Hindus in particular. Shining a spotlight on an incredibly forceful devotional movement that avoids fundamental politics and emphasizes unity, service, and peace, The Afterlife of Sai Baba is an entertaining‚€”and enlightening‚€”look at one of South Asia's most popular spiritual gurus.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of religious studies, media studies, anthropology and sociology.

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Unconditional Equality: Gandhi‚€™s Religion of Resistance by Ajay Skaria : Rs895 ISBN: 9788178244778

Unconditional Equality examines Mahatma Gandhi‚€™s critique of liberal ideas of freedom and equality, and his own practice of a freedom and equality organized around religion.

Sometimes working against the grain of Gandhi‚€™s explicit formulations, Unconditional Equality reconceives satyagraha (passive resistance) as a politics that strives for the absolute equality of all beings. Liberal traditions usually affirm an abstract equality. But for Gandhi such equality is an ‚€œequality of [the] sword‚€‚€”because it excludes those presumed to lack reason (such as animals or the colonized), but also because those included lose the power to love.

Gandhi professes instead a politics organized around dharma, or religion. For him, there can be ‚€œno politics without religion.‚€ This involves self-surrender, a freely offered surrender of autonomy and everyday sovereignty. For Gandhi, the ‚€œreligion that stays in all religions‚€ is satyagraha.

Ajay Skaria argues that, conceptually, satyagraha insists on equality without exception of all humans, animals, and things.

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Unifying Hinduism - Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History by Andrew J. Nicholson : Rs595 ISBN: 9788178244730

Some postcolonial theorists argue that the idea of a single system of belief known as ‚€œHinduism‚€ is a creation of nineteenth-century British imperialists. Andrew J. Nicholson introduces another perspective: although a unified Hindu identity is not as ancient as some Hindus claim, it has its roots in innovations within South Asian philosophy from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. During this time, thinkers treated the philosophies of Vedanta, Samkhya, and Yoga, along with the worshippers of Visnu, Siva, and Sakti, as belonging to a single system of belief and practice. Instead of seeing such groups as separate and contradictory, they re-envisioned them as separate rivers leading to the ocean of Brahman, the ultimate reality.

Drawing on the writings of philosophers from late medieval and early modern traditions, including Vijnanabhiksu, Madhava, and Madhusudana Sarasvati, Nicholson shows how influential thinkers portrayed Vedanta philosophy as the ultimate unifier of diverse belief systems. This project paved the way for the work of later Hindu reformers, such as Vivekananda, Radhakrishnan, and Gandhi, whose teachings promoted the notion that all world religions belong to a single spiritual unity. In his study, Nicholson also critiques the way in which Eurocentric concepts ‚€” like monism and dualism, idealism and realism, theism and atheism, and orthodoxy and heterodoxy ‚€” have come to dominate modern discourses on Indian philosophy.

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Hindu Pasts : Women, Religion, Histories by Vasudha Dalmia : Rs895 ISBN: 9788178243993

In her Introduction to this book‚€”which showcases her work as a scholar of social, literary, and religious history‚€”Vasudha Dalmia outlines the central ideas which thread her writings: first, to understand in greater historical depth the relationship between language, religion, and society in India, as well as the ever-changing role of its religious and social institutions; second, to recognize that the Hindu tradition, which colonials and nationalists tend to see as monolithic, is in fact a multiplicity of distinct and semi-autonomous strands.

Professor Dalmia‚€™s work reveals a steady focus on Indian religious traditions, sects, and histories which, over several hundred years, came to collectively comprise what in the nineteenth century became known as Hinduism. In her first essay, Max MŁller‚€™s study of the Veda is positioned within a larger history of German philosophical interest in eastern thought. MŁller appears less an exceptional German scholar and eccentric Oxford phenomenon once his derivation and links with earlier European Indology are made clear.

Subsequent essays look at the building blocks of colonial knowledge-formation, law-making, and pedagogy in colonial India, and the role in these of Banaras; at some of the major components of the Vaishnava Bhakti tradition; at pre-modern vernacular narratives that fed into constructing the modern Hindi novel and the Hindu ‚€˜nari‚€™; and at the history of modern Hindi literature.

Anyone interested in the plurality of Hinduism, women‚€™s issues, and Indian cultural history will find this book immensely interesting.

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Readings on Dalit Identity: History, Literature and Religion by Swaraj Basu : Rs995 ISBN: 9788125060901

Social oppression over the centuries in the name of caste and tradition denied a large section of the Indian population its rightful place in society. The cultural world and contribution of these people remained largely ignored. Resistance to the ideology of caste and the assertion by Dalits for equity and justice have found expression through writings over a period of time.

Since the 1970s, there have been attempts by scholars across disciplines to shed light on the cultural world of Dalits by constructing alternative historical and religious traditions, and even today, Dalit identity continues to be an important agenda of academic debate.

This volume brings together a diverse selection of writings that looks at how, through the reinterpretation of history, literature and religion, Dalits challenged their ascribed status and created a new identity for themselves. It examines the Dalit deconstruction of the Aryan migration theory, rewriting of the historical narrative, identity formation, cultural symbolism and memory, Dalit literature and women in Dalit autobiographies, ideas and notions of work, religion and caste identity, and the linkage between Dalit conversion and the question of decolonisation.

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Shades of Difference : Selected Writings of Rabindranath Tagore by Radha Chakravarty (Ed.) : Rs850 ISBN: 9789383166084

This unusual collection brings together Rabindranath Tagore's writings on forms of difference based on gender, caste, class, nation, community, religion, language, art, literature, philosophy, social custom and political belief. Via new translations, along with Tagore's own writings, lectures and conversations in English, this illustrated anthology presents his complex, dynamic approach to commonly perceived dualities -- such as life/death, nature/culture, male/female, tradition/modernity, East/West, local/universal, urban/rural etc. -- to highlight his humanistic vision and its significance for us today.

The accompanying Audio Visual material, Tagore & His World, provides a broader context for Tagore‚€™s evolution as a thinker and artist, offering glimpses of his life, travels, educational vision and creative experiments in the visual and performing arts. Through a range of contemporary adaptations from diverse sources and in different languages, it marks how Tagore‚€™s spirit lives on today, his legacy undiminished, for the world at large.

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Green and Saffron : Hindu Nationalism and Indian Environmental Politics by Mukul Sharma : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178243931

This book examines contemporary environmental issues and movements in independent India on the one hand, and the development of Hindu conservative ideology and politics on the other. It includes the first thorough investigation of Anna Hazare‚€™s movement in Maharashtra.

Mukul Sharma argues that these two social currents‚€”environmental conservation and Hindu politics‚€”have forged bonds which reveal the hijacking of environmentalism by conservative and retrograde worldviews. This, he says, constitutes a major aspect of hinterland political life which neither academics nor journalists have seriously analysed. Environmentalism and politics cannot be seen as separate from each other, for environmental issues are being defined in new ways by an anti-secular form of Hinduism. In turn, Hindu ideologues are gaining mileage for their ideology by espousing major environmental projects. 

Anna Hazare‚€™s impact is studied in detail through a careful field investigation of his environmental initiative in Ralegan Siddhi. Sunderlal Bahuguna‚€™s opposition to the Tehri Dam in the Garhwal Himalaya is outlined with great anthropological subtlety. And the regeneration of Vrindavan‚€™s urban and riverine hygiene by internationally funded NGOs is subjected to a historical scrutiny that includes an examination of how Lord Krishna has been redefined as the great god of conservation.

Sharma discusses Nazi Germany and fascist appropriations of environmentalism in Europe to contextualize Hindu conservative nationalists within a larger universe. By pinpointing the communal and authoritarian discourses within some of the new social movements, his book alters the way in which we look at everyday life in the subcontinent. For, says Sharma, at stake in this intermeshing of environmental Green and Hindu Saffron is nothing less than the way Indians understand their humanity.
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The Modern Spirit of Asia: The Spiritual and the Secular in China and India by Peter van der Veer : Rs1195 ISBN: 9788125054245

The Modern Spirit of Asia challenges the notion that modernity in China and India are derivative imitations of the West, arguing that these societies have transformed their ancient traditions in unique and distinctive ways. Peter van der Veer begins with nineteenth-century imperial history, exploring how Western concepts of spirituality, secularity, religion, and magic were used to translate the traditions of India and China. He traces how modern Western notions of religion and magic were incorporated into the respective nation-building projects of Chinese and Indian nationalist intellectuals, yet how modernity in China and India is by no means uniform. While religion is a centerpiece of Indian nationalism, it is viewed in China as an obstacle to progress that must be marginalized and controlled.
 Van der Veer, an outspoken proponent of the importance of comparative studies of religion and society, eloquently makes his case in this groundbreaking examination of the spiritual and the secular in China and India. This book allows both Indians and Chinese to examine their social history from a comparative viewpoint. These historical trajectories have a lot in common, but at various points Indians and Chinese have made choices that have led to very different outcomes.
The Modern Spirit of Asia is a welcome break from the ubiquitous emphasis on economic growth in the comparison of India and China. It would appeal to all those interested in comparing India and China who want to be informed about the contemporary world in which India and China are major players.

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The Past Before Us - Historical Traditions of Early North India by Romila Thapar : Rs1095 ISBN: 9788178243979

It has so often been said that Indian civilization lacks historical writing‚€”and therefore a sense of history‚€”that this notion passes for a truism. There has been little attempt to show up the falsity of the generalization. In the present book‚€”a magisterial historiographical survey of every major form within which ancient North Indian history is embedded or evident‚€”Romila Thapar shows an intellectually dynamic ancient world profuse with ideas about the past, an arena replete with societies constructing, reconstructing, and contesting various visions of worlds before their own.

‚€œTo determine what makes for this historical consciousness‚€, says Professor Thapar, ‚€œis not just an attempt to provide Indian civilization with a sense of history, nor is it an exercise in abstract research. My intention is to argue that, irrespective of the question of the presence or absence of historical writing as such, an understanding of the way in which the past is perceived, recorded, and used affords insights into early Indian society, as it does for that matter into other early societies.‚€

She argues that to possess history a civilization does not have to reveal writing in forms regarded as belonging to the established genres of history. In fact, a variety of ancient Indian texts reflect a consciousness of history; and, subsequently, there come into existence recognizable historical traditions and forms of historical writing. Both varieties of texts‚€”those which reflect a consciousness of history and those which reveal forms of historical writing‚€”were deployed to ‚€œreveal‚€ the past, and drawn upon as a cultural, political, religious, or other resource to legitimize an existing social order.

The Vedic corpus, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the itihasa-purana tradition, the Buddhist and Jaina canons, the hagiographical and biographical literature, the inscriptional evidence, a variety of chronicles, and dramatic forms such as the Mudrarakshasa are all scrutinized afresh in this book: not as sources for historical data, but instead as a civilization‚€™s many ways of thinking about and writing its history.

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Islamism and Democracy in India by Irfan Ahmad : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178242699

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind is the most influential Islamist organization in India today. Founded in 1941 by Syed Abul Ala Maududi with the aim of spreading Islamic values in the subcontinent, Jamaat and its offshoot, the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), has been watched closely by Indian security services since 9/11. In particular, SIMI has been accused of being behind terrorist bombings.

Islamism and Democracy in India is the first in-depth examination of India‚€™s Jamaat-e-Islami and SIMI. It explores political Islam‚€™s complex relationship with democracy and gives us a rare window into one immensely significant Islamic trajectory in a Muslim-minority context.

Irfan Ahmad conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork at a school in Aligarh, among student activists at Aligarh Muslim University, at a madrasa in Azamgarh, and during Jamaat‚€™s participation in elections in 2002. He deftly traces Jamaat‚€™s changing position towards India's secular democracy and the group‚€™s gradual ideological shift in the direction of religious pluralism and tolerance. He demonstrates how the rise of militant Hindu nationalism since the 1980s‚€”evident in the destruction of the Babri mosque and widespread violence against Muslims‚€”led to SIMI‚€™s radicalization, its rejection of pluralism, and its call for jihad.

Islamism and Democracy in India argues that when secular democracy is responsive to the traditions and aspirations of its Muslim citizens, Muslims in turn embrace pluralism and democracy. But when democracy becomes majoritarian and exclusionary, Muslims turn radical.

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Night of the Gods: Durga Puja and the Legitimation of Power in Rural Bengal by Ralph W. Nicholas : Rs675 ISBN: 9788192304618

Durga Puja is the most visible annual event in West Bengal. This ethnographic account shows that Durga Puja in the countryside was a very different event from the modern version of the puja, one that symbolized legitimacy and counterposed generous redistribution against the ruthless collection of revenues. The offerings and sacrifices that were integral to the traditional pujas provided communion for the landholding families as well as their dependents in the community. 

Among the many features of the puja that are peculiar to Bengal is the notion that autumn is the night of the gods when worship is ‚€˜untimely‚€™, that spring is the proper time for the observance.

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The Past Before Us: Historical Traditions of Early North India by Romila Thapar : Rs1395 ISBN: 9788178242958

It has so often been said that Indian civilization lacks historical writing‚€”and therefore a sense of history‚€”that this notion passes for a truism. There has been little attempt to show up the falsity of the generalization. In the present book‚€”a magisterial historiographical survey of every major form within which ancient North Indian history is embedded or evident‚€”Romila Thapar shows an intellectually dynamic ancient world profuse with ideas about the past, an arena replete with societies constructing, reconstructing, and contesting various visions of worlds before their own.

“To determine what makes for this historical consciousness”, says Professor Thapar, “is not just an attempt to provide Indian civilization with a sense of history, nor is it an exercise in abstract research. My intention is to argue that, irrespective of the question of the presence or absence of historical writing as such, an understanding of the way in which the past is perceived, recorded, and used affords insights into early Indian society, as it does for that matter into other early societies.”

She argues that to possess history a civilization does not have to reveal writing in forms regarded as belonging to the established genres of history. In fact, a variety of ancient Indian texts reflect a consciousness of history; and, subsequently, there come into existence recognizable historical traditions and forms of historical writing. Both varieties of texts‚€”those which reflect a consciousness of history and those which reveal forms of historical writing‚€”were deployed to “reveal” the past, and drawn upon as a cultural, political, religious, or other resource to legitimize an existing social order.

The Vedic corpus, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the itihasa-purana tradition, the Buddhist and Jaina canons, the hagiographical and biographical literature, the inscriptional evidence, a variety of chronicles, and dramatic forms such as the Mudrarakshasa are all scrutinized afresh in this book: not as sources for historical data, but instead as a civilization’s many ways of thinking about and writing its history.

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Islam in South Asia in Practice by Barbara D. Metcalf : Rs795 ISBN: 9788178243603

Two puzzles of modern India‚€”one well known, the other overlooked‚€”form the core of this book.
For fifty years, the state of Kerala has been famed, first as a home of Communists, then as a perplexing ‚€˜model of development‚€™. But why Communists? And why development, especially in a place where the economy usually underperformed even lowly national averages? Part of an answer lies in the unusual place of women in Kerala and their changing role in the past 200 years.

Another part lies in the other, often under-analyzed focus of this book: media and communication. Printing and publishing in Indian languages‚€”and accompanying questions of literacy and language identity‚€”present tantalizing puzzles.

Since data were first collected in the 1950s, Kerala‚€™s people have been India‚€™s greatest newspaper consumers. Do literacy and newspapers mobilize people for political action or does politicization make people into newspaper readers? To what extent do media wait on consumer capitalism before they break into the countryside to become truly mass media, as they have in India in the past thirty years?

Media and Modernity ponders these questions, first from the perspective of Kerala, often a forerunner of developments elsewhere, and then at an all-India level. Readers intrigued by questions of development, communications, politics, and the role of women will find in this collection stories that surprise and arguments that provoke.
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Islam in South Asia: A Short History by Jamal Malik : Rs1025 ISBN: 9788125046585

Islamic and Islamicate South Asia has become a focal point in academia, esp. since 9/11. Where did South Asian Muslims come from? How did they fare in interacting with Hindu cultures? How did they negotiate identity as ruling and ruled minorities and majorities? Islam in South Asia aims to synthesize the long history of Islam as an intrinsic part of Indian society seeing the vantage point of such a complex history as a series of cultural encounters that were mutually energizing.

Part I covers early Muslim expansion and the journey of the Arabs into South Asia and their formative phase in context of initial cultural encounter which produced a unique blend of Islamicated culture (app. 700‚€“1300). Part II views the establishment of Muslim empire, cultures oscillating between Islamic and Islamicate, centralized and regionalized power, when Muslims became part of the Indian social fabric embodying cultural change through new urban centers and intellectual hubs as well as the expanding agricultural societies (app. 1300‚€“1700). The third cluster is composed in the backdrop of regional centralization, territoriality and colonial rule, displaying processes of integration and differentiation, of marginalisation and privatisation of Muslim cultures in colonial setting, that helped the cause of masculinized Islam to create new forms of socialization which threatened to tear apart the tradition of tolerance in Muslim societies (app. 1700‚€“1930). Tensions between Muslim pluralism and singularity evolving in public sphere as religious identity politics in the period of high nationalism followed by post-colonial predicaments make up the fourth cluster (app. 1930‚€“2002).

The book would interest all those interested in intellectual, cultural and social history of Muslim South Asia, and in history of religions, as well as social scientists, social and cultural anthropologists, theologians and Indologists.

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Muslim Becoming: Aspiration and Skepticism in Pakistan by Naveeda Khan : Rs895 ISBN: 9788125046622

In Muslim Becoming, Naveeda Khan challenges the claim that Pakistan''s relation to Islam is fragmented and problematic. Offering a radically different interpretation, Khan contends that Pakistan inherited an aspirational, always-becoming Islam, one with an open future and a tendency toward experimentation. For the individual, this aspirational tendency manifests in a continual striving to be a better Muslim. It is grounded in the thought of Muhammad Iqbal (1877‚€“1938), the poet, philosopher, and politician considered the spiritual founder of Pakistan. Khan finds that Iqbal provided the philosophical basis for recasting Islam as an open religion with possible futures as yet unrealized, which he did in part through his engagement with the French philosopher Henri Bergson.

Drawing on research in the neighborhoods and mosques of Lahore and on readings of theological polemics, legal history, and Urdu literature, Khan points to striving throughout Pakistani society: in prayers, theological debates, the building of mosques, readings of the Qur''an, and religious pilgrimages. Emphasizing skepticism toward the practices of others that accompanies aspiration, Khan seeks to affirm aspiration while also acknowledging its capacity for violence.

This book would be of interest to scholars and students of anthropology, politics, religion, Islamic Studies and postcolonial studies.

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Subaltern Studies XII: Muslims, Dalits, and the Fabrications of History by Shail Mayaram, M.S.S. Pandian and Ajay Skaria(Eds.) : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178242149

The twelfth volume of Subaltern Studies comprises essays broadly linked by an interest in the history of Muslims and Dalits in South Asia, or with the manner in which dominant histories in the subcontinent have been ‚€˜fabricated‚€™.

Shahid Amin examines how a persistent image of ‚€˜the Mussalman‚€™ came into being via the work of Hindi writers and publicists in the late nineteenth century. He suggests that this image was not derived from popular memory but conjured up for political deployment. He reveals the enormous mileage gained by this image, both ‚€˜then‚€™ and ‚€˜now‚€™.

M.T. Ansari looks at the history of Mappila peasant ‚€˜uprisings‚€™ in the early twentieth century, and at how these came to be discursively constructed to arrive at an image of the fanatic Mussalman. This then yielded the argument that the Muslim fanatic was a religious fundamentalist who had either to be confined or killed. This essay also thus carries resonances of present-day fabrications of Islam.

Faisal Fatehali Devji‚€™s essay on Gandhi‚€™s politics of friendship offers an interesting counterpoint to the preceding two. Focusing on the Khilafat Movement, it studies friendship in one of Gandhi‚€™s boldest experiments‚€”his attempt to rethink political relations between Hindus and Muslims. In looking at Gandhi as ‚€˜a spoiler within the rhetoric of colonial India‚€™, Devji points implicitly to the importance of Gandhian ideology in contemporary India.

Milind Wakankar examines the anomalous position of Kabir within the frameworks of caste and canonicity. His essay serves here as a bridge between the issue of Untouchables/Dalits on the one hand and Hindu-Muslim relations on the other.

Anupama Rao looks at the history, politics, and legal aspects of an incident in which a Dalit kotwal was murdered on the steps of a Hanuman temple. Governmental discourse and Dalit rights are illuminated in important new ways in this essay.

Praveena Kodoth‚€™s essay analyses authority, property, and matriliny in colonial Malabar. It offers a detailed study of the codification of custom and looks at the ideas and assumptions that shaped colonial law-making.

Rashmi Dube Bhatnagar, Renu Dube, and Reena Dube investigate the rhetoric of bardic historians in Rajasthan and interrogate colonial perspectives of that tradition.

Prathama Banerjee investigates a crucial imperative of nationalism‚€”pride, love and adoration of one‚€™s nation‚€”through acts of the imagination in colonial Bengal.

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The Powerful Ephemeral: Everyday Healing In an Ambiguously Islamic Place by Carla Bellamy : Rs795 ISBN: 9788178243467

The violent partitioning of British India along religious lines and ongoing communalist aggression have compelled Indian citizens to contend with the notion that an exclusive, fixed religious identity is fundamental to selfhood. Even so, Muslim saint shrines known as dargahs attract a religiously diverse range of pilgrims.

In this accessible and groundbreaking ethnography, Carla Bellamy traces the long-term healing processes of Muslim and Hindu devotees of a complex of dargahs in northwestern India. Drawing on pilgrims‚€™ narratives, ritual and everyday practices, archival documents, and popular publications in Hindi and Urdu, Bellamy considers questions about the nature of religion in general and Indian religion in particular.

Grounded in stories from individual lives and experiences, The Powerful Ephemeral offers not only a humane, highly readable portrait of dargah culture, but also new insight into notions of selfhood and religious difference in contemporary India.

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Understanding Islam by Nazir Ahmad and Mohammed Zakir (Tr.) : Rs795 ISBN: 9788125046691

Understanding Islam is a translation of Ijtihad (Striving) written in Urdu by Nazir Ahmad (1836‚€“1912). The original work grew out of a response to the question, ‚€˜Why am I a Muslim?‚€™ which had obsessed the author. Marked by clear thinking, a commonsensical approach, erudition and social awareness, Ijtihad was written in a conversational style. Nazir Ahmad also critically examined questions that he felt had perhaps been inadequately understood by his co-religionists, and suggested areas where a change in their outlook might be conducive to the true spirit of Islam.

Written in the form of a dialogue between a student and a teacher, this book is a valuable introduction and guide to the essence of one of the world‚€™s major religions. It will appeal to the faithful through its clear and lucid explanations, and by clearing some of their doubts. For those of other faiths wishing to learn more about Islam, it imparts information on such questions as the oneness of God, prophethood, the twelve imams, the aim of the revelation in the Qur‚€™an, and the role and duties of maulvis.

Mohammed Zakir‚€™s translation is true to the original, and retains its flavour. This work, a succinct introduction to Islam, will find a place in courses of theology and philosophy, as well as Islamic history. If we agree with Eliot that religion is a cornerstone of culture, this book should also find its way into cultural discourses, especially on Islam and Islamic cultures.

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Damayanti and Nala: The Many Lives of a Story by Susan S. Wadley (Ed.) : Rs750 ISBN: 9788180280375

This volume of essays with papers by anthropologists, Sanskritists, scholars of religion, historians, literary scholars and folklorists, explores the many ‚€˜tellings‚€™ of the story of Damayanti and Nala, giving us new understandings of this well-known story.

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Jassa Singh Ahluwalia (1718-1783): The Forgotten Hero of Punjab by Sumant Dhamija : Rs950 ISBN: 9788187358459

In Jassa Singh Ahluwalia (1718-1783): The Forgotten Hero of Punjab, Sumant Dhamija describes the riveting history of Punjab‚€™s struggle for freedom and sovereignty. A key role was played by Jassa Singh and his fellow misl sardars who came into conflict, principally, with Ahmad Shah Abdali ‚€˜Durrani‚€™ (1724-72), King of Afghanistan, regarded as the greatest conqueror of his time. Inspired by Guru Gobind Singh, Jassa Singh united the panth, leading the Dal Khalsa, the Sikh army, to ultimate victory. The people of Punjab looked up to him as the warrior-saint.  This victory puts Jassa Singh in the front rank of the heroes of Indian history.

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Lived Islam in South Asia: Adaptation, Accommodation and Conflict by Imtiaz Ahmad and Helmut Reifeld (Eds.) : Rs325 ISBN: 9788187358473

Lived Islam in South Asia: Adaptation, Accommodation and Conflict explores the everyday religious lives of Muslims in South Asia. The book argues that Islam cannot be understood through the works of theologians alone, for whom it is a formal, uniform and rigid system of beliefs and practices. Popular Islam, or Islam as it is practised by millions of Muslims in South Asia, has an empirical validity and is a dynamic process of adjustment and accommodation as well as conflict with other religions, with which it coexists.

The book is divided into four parts.

Part I: Concepts and Interpretations brings coherence and meaning to the confusion of everyday life.

Part II: Lived Islam and its Historical Context, explores the distinctive developments of Islam in Kashmir and Nepal.

Part III: Conflict and Accommodation analyses various aspects of both religious conflicts and accommodation. For instance, harmonious relations between Muslims and Hindus united by common worship at Muslim shrines in Karnataka is an empirical fact and common worship unites the marginalized Shia women in Hyderabad with women of other religions.

Part IV: The Presence of Sufism describes how marginalized Hindus and Muslims find acceptance in Sufism.

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Masculinity, Asceticism, Hinduism: Past and Present Imaginings of India by Chandrima Chakraborty : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178242989

This book analyses the links between religion, masculinity, and asceticism in Indian political and cultural history.

Through an examination of nationalist discourse in the writings of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Raja Rao, V.D. Savarkar, M.S. Golwalkar, and many others, Chakraborty reveals how ideas about masculinity and Hindu asceticism came to be reworked for cultural and political purposes. Over the colonial period, Indian leaders and the literati were impelled to contest colonialist views of Hindu effeminacy. In the process, asceticism became a critical site for notions of masculinity.

Chakraborty also argues that the politics of the contemporary Hindu Right relies heavily on selective and manipulated images of Hindu asceticism and manliness, drawn selectively from such writers. Inaccuracies and distortions within Hindu Right politics are shown up by careful analysis of the many different ways in which masculine asceticism was actually imagined and written about.

Ignoring disciplinary divisions, this book cuts through politics, history, cultural studies, and literary analysis to offer an excellent view of concepts such as aggression, effeminacy, manliness, spirituality, asceticism, and nationalist virtue as these have been configured and reconfigured over the past century and a half.

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Radical, Religious, and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism by Eli Berman : Rs675 ISBN: 9788125041665

How do radical religious sects run such deadly terrorist organizations? Hezbollah, Hamas, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Taliban all began as religious groups dedicated to piety and charity. Yet once they turned to violence, they became horribly potent, executing campaigns of terrorism deadlier than those of their secular rivals.

In Radical, Religious and Violent, Eli Berman approaches the question using the economics of organizations. He argues that these terrorists (even suicide terrorists) are best understood as rational altruists seeking to help their own communities. Yet despite the vast pool of potential recruits‚€”young altruists who feel their communities are repressed or endangered ‚€”there are less than a dozen highly lethal terrorist organizations in the world capable of sustained and coordinated violence that threatens governments and makes hundreds of millions of civilians hesitate before boarding an airplane. What is special about these organizations, and why are most of their followers religious radicals?

Drawing on parallel research on radical religious Jews, Christians, and Muslims, Berman shows that the most lethal terrorist groups have a common characteristic: their leaders have found a way to control defection. Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Taliban, for example, built loyalty and cohesion by means of mutual aid, weeding out ‚€œfree riders‚€ and producing a cadre of members they could rely on. The secret of their deadly effectiveness lies in their resilience and cohesion when incentives to defect are strong.

These insights suggest that provision of basic social services by competent governments adds a critical, nonviolent component to counterterrorism strategies. It undermines the violent potential of radical religious organizations without disturbing free religious practice, being drawn into theological debates with jihadists, or endangering civilians.

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Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History by Andrew J. Nicholson : Rs750 ISBN: 9788178243283

Some postcolonial theorists argue that the idea of a single system of belief known as ‚€œHinduism‚€ is a creation of nineteenth-century British imperialists. Andrew J. Nicholson introduces another perspective: although a unified Hindu identity is not as ancient as some Hindus claim, it has its roots in innovations within South Asian philosophy from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. During this time, thinkers treated the philosophies of Vedanta, Samkhya, and Yoga, along with the worshippers of Visnu, Siva, and Sakti, as belonging to a single system of belief and practice. Instead of seeing such groups as separate and contradictory, they re-envisioned them as separate rivers leading to the ocean of Brahman, the ultimate reality.

Drawing on the writings of philosophers from late medieval and early modern traditions, including Vijnanabhiksu, Madhava, and Madhusudana Sarasvati, Nicholson shows how influential thinkers portrayed Vedanta philosophy as the ultimate unifier of diverse belief systems. This project paved the way for the work of later Hindu reformers, such as Vivekananda, Radhakrishnan, and Gandhi, whose teachings promoted the notion that all world religions belong to a single spiritual unity. In his study, Nicholson also critiques the way in which Eurocentric concepts ‚€” like monism and dualism, idealism and realism, theism and atheism, and orthodoxy and heterodoxy ‚€” have come to dominate modern discourses on Indian philosophy.

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Chinese Myths by Anne Birrell : Rs375 ISBN: 9788125039464

Anne Birrell has translated representative narratives drawn from over a hundred classical texts in the course of her work on various aspects of Chinese mythology, and here she introduces a splendid selection especially for the general reader. Lucidly retold using English equivalents for the Chinese names, these lively mythic tales are full of colourful episodes and vivid characters. Helpfully organised by themes and motifs which set them in the context of mythology the world over, these stories are a fascinating treasure trove that has long been inaccessible and unknown to many readers.

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Greek Myths by Lucilla Burn : Rs375 ISBN: 9788125039471

Here retold in all their dramatic power are some of the most exciting and influential of all Greek myths: the epic struggle of the Trojan War, the wanderings of Odysseus, the tragic destiny of Oedipus, and the heroic adventures of Herakles, Theseus, Perseus and Jason. The author introduces the complex pantheon of Olympian gods and goddesses, describing their attitudes, genealogies and often comic relationships, and illustrates the personalities and their stories by drawing upon the artistry of the ancient culture which created them. A concluding chapter reviews the powerful and continuing imaginative legacy of Greek myth, from Botticelli to Freud. This book contains 50 illustrations

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Hindu Myths by A. L. Dallapiccola : Rs375 ISBN: 9788125039488

India has long been regarded as the home of Hinduism, its mythology constituting the backbone of Indian culture. The myths have been adapted over the centuries to incorporate new or revised characters and continue to play a central role in modern Indian life. Retold here in their colourful and dramatic splendour, they touch on the key narrative themes of creation, preservation, destruction, delusion and the bestowal of grace. They also portray the main deities of the Hindu pantheon—Shiva, Vishnu and Devi—and their relationships with anti-gods, nymphs and ascetics. Drawn from a variety of sources, most notably the encyclopaedic texts the Puranas, the myths range from the early centuries ad to the sixteenth century, conveying their enduring appeal and the religious teachings derived from them. This books contains 37 illustrations.

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Islam in South Asia in Practice by Barbara D. Metcalf : Rs795 ISBN: 9788178242972

This volume brings together the work of more than thirty scholars of Islam and Muslim societies in South Asia. It comprises a rich anthology of primary texts that contributes to a new appreciation of the lived religious and cultural experiences of the world's largest population of Muslims.

The thirty-four selections‚€”translated from Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Hindavi, Dakhani, and other languages‚€”highlight a wide variety of genres, many rarely found in standard accounts of Islamic practice, from oral narratives to elite guidance manuals, from devotional songs to secular judicial decisions arbitrating Islamic law, and from political posters to a discussion among college women affiliated with an ‚€œIslamist‚€ organization.

Drawn from premodern texts, modern pamphlets, government and organizational archives, new media, and contemporary fieldwork, the selections reflect the rich diversity of Islamic belief and practice in South Asia. Each reading is introduced with a brief contextual note from its scholar-translator, and Barbara Metcalf introduces the whole volume with a substantial historical overview.
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Nature, Culture and Religion at the Crossroads of Asia by Marie Lecomte-Tilouine (Ed.) : Rs750 ISBN: 9788187358466

Nature, Culture and Religion at the Crossroads of Asia explores how ethnic groups living in the Himalayan regions understand nature and culture. The first part addresses the opposition between nature and culture in Asia‚€™s major religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Shamanism. The second part brings together specialists of different representative groups living in the heterogeneous Himalayan region. They examine how these indigenous groups perceive their world. This includes understanding their mythic past, in particular, the place of animals and spirits in the world of humans as they see it and the role of ritual in the everyday lives of these people. The book takes into account how these various perceptions of the Himalayan peoples are shaped by a globalized world. The volume thus provides new ways of viewing the relationship between humans and their environment.

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Persian Myths by Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis : Rs375 ISBN: 9788125039495

The traditional tales and stories of ancient Iran describe confrontations between good and evil, the victories of the gods, and exploits of heroes and fabulous supernatural creatures such as the magical bird Simurgh and the div or demons. Much of our information about Iran‚€™s pre-Islamic past comes from the holy book of the Zoroastrian religion, the Avesta. Although not written down in its present form until the thirteenth or fourteenth century, parts of the Avesta date back originally to between 1400 and 1200 BC. As well as the words of the prophet Zoroaster and stories about Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord, it also incorporates earlier pagan myths which reappear in the Shahnameh (Book of Kings). A magnificent epic in rhyme completed in ad1010 by the poet Firdowsi and featuring his most famous hero, Rustum. Dr Curtis draws upon all of these sources to retell for modern readers the stirring legends of ancient Iran, which have inspired centuries of manuscript illustrations. This book contains 42 illustrations.

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Religious Division and Social Conflict: The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in Rural India by Peggy Froerer : Rs295 ISBN: 9788187358510

Religious Division and Social Conflict: The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in Rural India is an ethnographic account of the emergence of Hindu nationalism in a tribal (adivasi) community in Chhattisgarh, central India. It is argued that the successful spread of Hindu nationalism in this area is due to the involvement of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a militant Hindu nationalist organization, in local affairs. While active engagement in 'civilizing' strategies has enabled the RSS to legitimize its presence and endear itself to the local community, the book argues that participation in more aggressive strategies has made it possible for this organization to fuel and attach local tensions to a broader Hindu nationalist agenda.

The book further argues that while the RSS is the active agent in this process, its specific impact is a function of its relation of opposition to the Church. The influence of the latter, which was well established in the area, has recently been challenged by the RSS. In order to protect and strengthen their respective positions of dominance, both institutions have been instrumental in dividing the local population. This division has often been expressed in conflict over land, healthcare and political leadership.

The book engages with themes such as religion, land relations, liquor disputes, health care, and political leadership.

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Roman Myths by Jane F. Gardner : Rs375 ISBN: 9788125039501

The myths of the Romans are stories not about the gods but about the Romans themselves. Writers such as Livy, Virgil and Ovid presented myths as if they were actual histories of the origins and early days of Rome. The stories of Aeneas, Romulus and Remus and the ‚€˜Seven Kings‚€™ give varying accounts of the founding of the city; Rome‚€™s destiny‚€”her divinely fore-ordained rise to power‚€”is stressed in all of them. Some myths provided models of virtuous and public-spirited behavior which citizens (both men and women) were encouraged to emulate. They could also add lustre to the reputations of Rome‚€™s ruling families, and stress their fitness for power, by describing past acts of heroism and civic duty. Roman myths were, in short, propaganda. Jane F. Gardner retells some of the best-known stories, and a few less well-known, examining their place in the society, religion and literature of ancient Rome. This book contains 39 illustrations

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Sacrificing People: Invasions of a Tribal Landscape by Felix Padel : Rs950 ISBN: 9788125038689

Sacrificing People is a new, updated edition of Felix Padel‚€™s classic case study of colonialism, originally entitled The Sacrifice of Human Being: British Rule and the Konds of Orissa. The journey of the book, like the struggle of the Konds, is from colonial intrusion to developmental destruction.

The book puts into perspective the communal murders and ethnic cleansing that happened in the district of Kandhamal where the Konds are concentrated, in 2007‚€“8, where an explosion of orchestrated violence occurred, mostly in the form of attacks against Christians, on a scale recalling violence at the time of colonial invasion (1830s-60s), when invading forces burnt dozens of Kond villages. The role and words of the first missionaries in Orissa, who targeted this district in particular, is analysed to throw light on recent events. The book‚€™s increasing relevance is also due to Bauxite cappings on the high mountains dominating the Konds‚€™ landscape in southern Orissa. Their base rock was named ‚€˜Khondalite‚€™, honouring the Konds, but their high aluminium content has elicited an invasion of mining companies with even greater impact on the Kond culture and environment than the British invasion.

As renowned anthropologist Hugh Brody writes in his Foreword to this new edition, ‚€œit is impossible to read Padel‚€™s work without being drawn into its flow of history, anthropology and profound insights into the way colonial projects have shaped how we see the world in general, India as a nation and tribal peoples in particular.‚€ Moving beyond the particulars of a remote resource conflict, Sacrificing People offers a way of comprehending the roots of human violence by understanding ourselves and our place in the modern structures of power and control, whose core is a sacrifice of human being‚€”a cruelty and dominance more extreme than human sacrifice because it sacrifices the essence of being human.

This book will fascinate scholars and the discerning public alike, as a meticulously researched, exceptionally original study of the forms of domination that permeate the modern world.

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The Nationalization of Hindu Traditions: Bharatendu Harischandra and Nineteenth-Century Banaras by Vasudha Dalmia : Rs795 ISBN: 9788178243047

This book studies how a dominant strand of Hinduism in North India‚€”the tradition which uses and misuses the slogan ‚€˜Hindi‚€“Hindu‚€“Hindustan‚€™‚€”came into being in the late nineteenth century. It uses the life and writings of Bharatendu Harischandra (often called the Father of Modern Hindi) as its focal point for an analysis of some of the vital cultural processes through which modern North India, as we experience it today, came to be formed.

First published in 1997, this book has been widely recognized as a work of exceptional scholarship with politically vital implications. It is reissued now with a new Foreword by Francesca Orsini, highlighting the nature of its importance.

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Hindu Nationalism: A Reader by Christophe Jaffrelot : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178242651

In India and beyond, Hindu nationalism came into the headlines in the 1990s, when the Ayodhya movement‚€”to build a temple in place of a mosque‚€”gained momentum. This was when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power. This stream of Indian politics is, however, considerably older: in fact older than the Left, the Congress, and any other.

The first part of this reader, comprising the writings of both famous and unknown ideologues, shows that some of the nineteenth-centuryHindu socio-religious reformers, such as Dayananda (founder of the Arya Samaj), prepared the ground for Hindu nationalism by positing a Vedic Golden Age. On this foundation, leaders of the Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) elaborated their vision of Hindu India in the twentieth century.

Now, V.D. Savarkar viewed the Muslim as the perfect ‚€˜Other‚€™, a figure to be stigmatized and emulated with fascinating ambivalence. A full-fledged ethno-religious concept, Hindutva, came into being, a notion that mentors of the Jana Sangh and the BJP‚€”such as Deendayal Upadhyaya and Balraj Madhok‚€” refined subsequently by adding Gandhian nuances as well as more exclusivist overtones.

The second part of the reader outlines every major political issue on which the Hindu nationalist movement has taken a distinct position. These include: how to participate in party politics without diluting the core cultural doctrine; how to cope with conversions by catering more to class needs; how to promote Hindi without alienating South India; how to fight reservations without losing the Other Backward Castes vote; how to criticize secularism without seeming communal; how to reform education and the economy; how to recuperate Kashmir; and how to make the Hindu diaspora replicate the original ideology beyond India‚€™s boundaries.

In brief, this reader is indispensable for anyone who wishes to understand contemporary Indian politics, society, culture, and history.

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History, Bhakti, and Public Memory: Namdev in Religious and Secular Traditions by Christian Lee Novetzke : Rs795 ISBN: 9788178242590

Namdev is a central figure in the cultural history of India, especially within the field of bhakti, a devotional practice that has created publics of memory for over eight centuries. Born in the Marathi-speaking region of the Deccan in the late thirteenth century, Namdev is remembered as a simple, low-caste Hindu tailor whose innovative performances of devotional songs spread his fame widely. He is central to many religious traditions within Hinduism, as well as to Sikhism, and he is a key early literary figure in Maharashtra, northern India, and Punjab. In the modern period, Namdev appears throughout the public spheres of Marathi and Hindi and in India at large, where his identity fluctuates between regional associations and a quiet, pan-Indian, nationalist-secularist profile that champions the poor, oppressed, marginalized, and low caste. Christian Lee Novetzke considers the way social memory coheres around the figure of Namdev from the sixteenth century to the present, examining the practices that situate Namdev's memory in multiple historical publics. Focusing primarily on Maharashtra and drawing on ethnographies of devotional performance, archival materials, scholarly historiography, and popular media, especially film, Novetzke vividly illustrates how religious communities in India preserve their pasts and, in turn, create their own historical narratives.

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Rebuilding Buddhism by Sarah Le Vine and David N. Gellner : Rs850 ISBN: 9788187358398

Rebuilding Buddhism describes in evocative detail the experiences and achievements of Nepalis who have adopted Theravada Buddhism. This form of Buddhism was introduced into Nepal from Burma and Sri Lanka in the 1930‚€™s and its adherents have struggled for recognition and acceptance ever since. With its focus on the austere figure of the monk and the biography of the historical Buddha, and  more recently with its emphasis on individualizing meditation and on gender equality, Theravada Buddhism contrasts sharply with the highly ritualized Tantric Buddhism traditionally practiced in the Kathmandu Valley.

Based on extensive fieldwork, interviews, and historical reconstruction, the book provides a rich portrait of the different ways of being a Nepali Buddhist over the past seventy years. At the same time it explores the impact of the Theravada movement and what its gradual success has meant for Buddhism, for society, and for men and women in Nepal.

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In Amma‚€™s Healing Room: Gender and Vernacular Islam in South India by Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger : Rs525 ISBN: 9788125033653

In Amma‚€™s Healing Room is a vivid and compelling study of the life and thought of a female Muslim spiritual leader‚€”‚€œAmma‚€ to her family and disciples‚€”who lives and practices in the city of Hyderabad in South India. Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger describes Amma‚€™s practice as a form of vernacular Islam that has arisen in a particular locality, one in which the boundaries between Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are fluid. In the ‚€œhealing room,‚€ Amma meets a diverse clientele that includes men as well as women, and people of various religious and social backgrounds. Seated at a small table, writing amulets in Arabic while her husband, ‚€œAbba,‚€ himself a Sufi master, operates a small store catering to the waiting crowd, Amma advises her disciples, who come to her with a wide range of physical, social and physiological afflictions. Even as she declares that the most important distinction among humans is that of gender, not religion, Amma crosses those boundaries to practice in a traditionally male ritual role, and must continually recreate and maintain her authortity as healer to ‚€œmeet the public‚€.

Flueckiger‚€™s collaboration with Amma over a number of years is an integral part of the story she tells. Much of Amma‚€™s complex cosmology is presented in her own words. The author describes her research methods and growing understanding of her material in terms of a deepening relationship with Amma, to whom she related at different moments as daughter, disciple and researcher. The resulting study is a work of insight and compassion that challenges widely held views of religion and gender in India as it reveals the creativity of a tradition too often portrayed by Muslims and non-Muslims alike as singular and monolithic.

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In the Presence of Sai Baba: Body, City and Memory in a Global Religious Movement by Smriti Srinivas : Rs895 ISBN: 9788125034810

The Sai Baba movement, centred on the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba (b.1926), today attracts a global following from Japan to South Africa. Regarded as a divine incarnation, Sathya Sai Baba traces his genealogy to Shirdi Sai Baba (d.1918), a mendicant in colonial India identified with various Sufi and devotional traditions. The movement, thus, has its ‚€œroots‚€ in Shirdi Sai Baba. However, in the process of going global, it has developed conjunctions with other religious traditions, New Religious Movements, and New Age ideas. This book offers an account of the Sai Baba movement as a pathway for charting the varied cartographies, sensory formations, and cultural memories implicated in urbanization and globalization. It traverses the terrain between social theories for the study of religion and cities ‚€”themselves a product of modernity‚€”and the radical, creative, and unexpected modernity of contemporary religious movements. It is based on ethnographic research carried out in India, Kenya, and the United States of America.

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Languages of Political Islam in India c.1200‚€“1800, The by Muzaffar Alam : Rs595 ISBN: 9788178242231

This book shows the ways in which political Islam, from its establishment in medieval north India, adapted itself to a variety of Indian contexts and became deeply Indianized. This process, by which pre-existent Arabo-Persian traditions were moulded to new Indian contexts, involved changes in the manner in which Islamic rule was conceived and conducted in the subcontinent. It became gradually apparent to the conquering Muslim sultans (and later to their successors, the Mughals), as well as to medieval thinkers and writers of treatises on Islamic morality, theology and political doctrine, that the conduct of Islamic statecraft in a country comprising mostly Hindus entailed shifts in Islam‚€™s conceptual and institutional vocabulary. Islamic rulers could not command a vast country without accepting certain cultural limitations to the exercise of their power. In this process of acculturation, political Islam in India was forced to reinvent itself as a doctrine of rule.

From this stemmed a second change: a shift in the meanings of key Islamic terms, especially those pertaining to statehood, and relations between rulers and subject populations. Through a close reading of a variety of texts‚€”ranging from normative treatises and Sufi biographies to Persian court poetry‚€”Muzaffar Alam shows that the vocabularies in use went through certain changes so fundamental that the language of Indian Islam became quite different from what was in vogue in contexts outside. With its profound deployment of primary and secondary sources to study Indo-Muslim statecraft vis-ŗ-vis Islamic theocratic languages over an eight-hundred-year stretch, this book provides major insights into the changing nature of political Islam in India. It will interest scholars of the Islamic world, as well as all serious readers of Indian history and comparative politics.

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Women of the Mahabharata, The: The Question of Truth by Chaturvedi Badrinath : Rs695 ISBN: 9788125035145

In the stories where the Mahabharata speaks of life, women occupy a central place. In living what life brings to them, the women of the Mahabharata show, that the truth in which one must live, is however, not a simple thing; nor can there be any one absolute statement about it. Each one of them, in her own way, is a teacher to mankind as to what truth and goodness in their many dimensions are. The twelve women of the Mahabharata whose life stories make up this book, range from Shakuntala, Savitri and Damayanti who are known only in sketches; from Sulabha, Suvarchala, Uttara Disha, Madhavi and Kapoti who are hardly known, and finally to Draupadi, known widely but frozen in popular culture and writing in two or three standard clichťd images.

The women of the Mahabharata are incarnate in the women of today. To read the stories of their relation-ships is to read the stories of our relationships. They demand from the men of today the same reflection on their perceptions, attitudes, and pretensions too, as they did from the men in their lives, and equally often from other men full of pretensions, even if they were kings and sages. Badrinath‚€™s ability to combine respect and love and to write with impressive scholarship and grace will unforgettably transform our experience of reading the Mahabharata.

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Brahmin and Non-Brahmin: Genealogies of the Tamil Political Present by M.S.S.Pandian : Rs595 ISBN: 9788178242217

In South India, the categories ‚€˜Brahmin‚€™ and ‚€˜non-Brahmin‚€™ are frequently treated as self-evident, both within contemporary Tamil politics and in mainstream academic discourses. Departing from this political and academic ‚€˜common sense‚€™, the present book historicizes the complex processes by which these categories came into being and acquired political power over the past century. Using archival, regional-language, and unconventional sources, M.S.S. Pandian unsettles the ‚€˜self-evident‚€™ quality of these two categories and opens up a rich theoretical-critical space to rethink and understand them.

In the process of unravelling and historicizing the so-called ‚€˜naturalness‚€™ of ‚€˜Brahmin‚€™ and ‚€˜non-Brahmin‚€™, this book also offers a new perspective on colonialism in South India. Stepping away from mainstream nationalist accounts of colonialism, it shows the ways in which colonialism was, for various strata of Tamil society, both a moment of crisis as well as one of possibilities. The book argues that it was this dual and ambiguous quality of colonial rule which facilitated new ways of looking at the figure of the Brahmin, even as it enabled the making of a non-Brahmin identity. The importance of this book for understanding politics and society in Tamil South India over the past hundred and more years can scarcely be exaggerated. The Non-Brahmin writings and discursive strategies of E.V. Ramasamy ‚€˜Periyar‚€™, Maraimalai Adigal, and Iyothee Thoss, alongside those of a wide array of Brahminic thinkers and propagandists (both within Congress and outside), are presented here with a degree of sophistication and analytic skill not available in other works of political, social, and intellectual history on the Indian South. This book will interest every historian, sociologist, and political analyst of India, as well as all who wish to understand anti-Brahmin and anti-upper-caste social movements.

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Hindu Myth, Hindu History - Religion, Art, and Politics by Heinrich von Stietencron : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178242156

Translated from the German, this is a major work of classical Indological scholarship. Drawing upon various sources and currents‚€”folk, tribal, and the multilayered Sanskritic tradition‚€”it offers major insights into the complex cultural history of Hindu religious traditions. Starting from the centuries preceding the Common Era and continuing through the Gupta period up to the eleventh century, it traces continuity and change in religion and art within the formative period of what we know today as Hinduism. The terrain it covers ranges from the grammatical treatises of Panini and Patanjali, to the Dharma Shastras as well as the epics and Puranas, to inscriptions and temple iconography. Deploying these many perspectives, it looks also at Akbar‚€™s religious reforms, which gain yet other dimensions via such scrutiny.

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Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights, and the History of Kashmir by Mridu Rai : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178242026

This is a remarkable work of scholarship which shows how Kashmir‚€™s modern Muslim identity came into existence. In doing this, it demonstrates the complex manner in which politics can enforce the creation of religious identity. Kashmir is a hotbed of religious politics. Disputed between India and Pakistan, this territory comprises a large majority of Muslims who are subject to the laws of a predominantly Hindu and increasingly hinduised India. How did religion and politics become so inextricably enmeshed in defining and expressing the protest of Kashmir‚€™s Muslims against Hindu rule? This book is a brilliant historical study of this central issue in the troubled politics of South Asia‚€™s most picturesque‚€”and most volatile‚€”province. Mridu Rai argues that the origins of present political conditions and problems lie in the hundred-year period preceding the creation of India and Pakistan, when Kashmir was ruled by a succession of Hindu Dogra kings. The Dogras wielded power under the aegis of British imperialism, and the collusion of colonial state and collaborating vassals played no small part in shaping a decisively Hindu sovereignty over a subject Muslim populace.

This sovereignty took a novel political form in Kashmir. It was characterized by an unprecedented degree of control by rulers intent on establishing and legitimizing their authority via Hindu forms of patronage, tradition, ritual, and related strategies. The region‚€™s Muslims, unlike its Hindus, were left out of the power-sharing arrangements not simply because of their religion but because, as Muslims, they became irrelevant to the legitimizing devices installed by the Hindu Dogras and their British overlords. Therefore, the protest of Kashmiri Muslims historically represents not so much a defense of Islam as a defence of their rights by a community defined specifically as Muslims by an explicitly Hindu ruling hierarchy. This explains the development of a consciousness among Kashmiri Muslims of religiously-based neglect, as well as the emergence of their ongoing political protest. Everyone interested in Kashmir and its history will want this book, as will those who study religion, politics, legal rights, and community identities.

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Islam and Healing: Loss and Recovery of an Indo-Muslim Medical Tradition 1600-1900 by Seema Alavi : Rs895 ISBN: 9788178241951

Indo-Muslim medicine‚€”or the Unani tradition‚€”developed in South Asia alongside Mughal political culture. While it healed the body, it also had a profound bearing on the social fabric of the region. Seema Alavi‚€™s book shows the nature and extent of this Islamic healing tradition‚€™s interaction with Indian society and politics from roughly 1600 to 1900. Drawing on Persian texts for the pre-colonial phase, Alavi then moves beyond the standard colonial archive to deploy unused Urdu texts, pamphlets, local newspapers, and private family records. The result is a substantial revision of the existing historiography of Indian Islam‚€™s encounter with Western medicine. This book represents, in fact, the first major effort at telling the story of an Islamic healing tradition and its subsequent transformation by locating it within both pre-colonial and colonial time frames. Alavi shows precisely how, in the period of high colonialism, established practitioners kept their tradition alive. Their struggles to preserve and recast the Mughal legacy, control knowledge, and consolidate doctrinaire languages of power when confronting print culture and Western education are compellingly documented and analysed. Without disprivileging the state, she demonstrates how an in-house struggle for hegemony can be as potent as external power during processes that define medical, social, and national modernity.

In the present context, where West-dominant globalization demonizes both Islam and cultural alternatives, the implications of this book are profound. A pioneering work on social and medical history, it will interest all historians, students of Islam‚€™s interaction with the West, alternative modernities, and the ancient as well as contemporary struggle of the local against the global.

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Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World by Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan (Eds.) : Rs795 ISBN: 9788187358367

In a globalized world, how can one bridge the private lives of individuals and public cultures or ways of life? In what ways does religion, with regard to words, gestures, and things, exert a pressure on structures of governance? Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-secular World opens an inquiry concerning the engagement of religion with politics. Religion, in its local and global form, is perceived as a ‚€˜problem‚€™ to which intellectuals, policy-makers, cultural critics and economists direct their attention with either fascination or thinly veiled irritation. Yet, in the present ‚€˜information age‚€™, religion in its public manifestations reveals a dual possibility ‚€“ for better and for worse. A potential source of inspiration and democratic openness, it simultaneously presents a danger of dogmatism and hence of closed societies. The ‚€˜post-secular‚€™ condition and its corresponding intellectual standing consist in this ‚€˜living-on‚€™ of religion. While it escapes pre-established contexts and concepts it takes on new forms. In order to track its movements, new methods are needed. A society is ‚€˜post-secular‚€™ if it reckons with the diminishing but enduring ‚€“ and hence, perhaps, ever more resistant ‚€“ existence of the religious. The seventeen papers in this volume examine interrelationships between the political, economic and cultural characteristics of the ‚€˜age of globalization‚€™ on the one hand and the vision of society and structures of governance developed over millennia by religious traditions on the other. It examines if contemporary political theologies have practical relevance in aspects of policies and decision-making by individuals and governments. It explores the possibility that religion might give people a chance to lead better lives in the modern milieu. The volume will be of great interest to students of religion, politics, sociology and philosophy, as well as the interested general reader.

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Brahmin and Non-Brahmin: Genealogies of the Tamil Political Present by M.S.S. Pandian : Rs650 ISBN: 9788178241623

In South India, the categories ‚€˜Brahmin‚€™ and ‚€˜non-Brahmin‚€™ are frequently treated as self-evident, both within contemporary Tamil politics and in mainstream academic discourses. Departing from this political and academic ‚€˜common sense‚€™, the present book historicizes the complex processes by which these categories came into being and acquired political power over the past century. Using archival, regional-language, and unconventional sources, M.S.S. Pandian unsettles the ‚€˜self-evident‚€™ quality of these two categories and opens up a rich theoretical-critical space to rethink and understand them. In the process of unravelling and historicizing the so-called ‚€˜naturalness‚€™ of ‚€˜Brahmin‚€™ and ‚€˜non-Brahmin‚€™, this book also offers a new perspective on colonialism in South India. Stepping away from mainstream nationalist accounts of colonialism, it shows the ways in which colonialism was, for various strata of Tamil society, both a moment of crisis as well as one of possibilities. The book argues that it was this dual and ambiguous quality of colonial rule which facilitated new ways of looking at the figure of the Brahmin, even as it enabled the making of a non-Brahmin identity.

The importance of this book for understanding politics and society in Tamil South India over the past hundred and more years can scarcely be exaggerated. The Non-Brahmin writings and discursive strategies of E.V. Ramasamy ‚€˜Periyar‚€™, Maraimalai Adigal, and Iyothee Thoss, alongside those of a wide array of Brahminic thinkers and propagandists (both within Congress and outside), are presented here with a degree of sophistication and analytic skill not available in other works of political, social, and intellectual history on the Indian South. This book will interest every historian, sociologist, and political analyst of India, as well as all who wish to understand anti-Brahmin and anti-upper-caste social movements.

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Hindu Myth, Hindu History - Religion, Art, and Politics by Heinrich von Stietencron : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178241227

Translated from the German, this is a major work of classical Indological scholarship. Drawing upon various sources and currents‚€”folk, tribal, and the multilayered Sanskritic tradition‚€”it offers major insights into the complex cultural history of Hindu religious traditions. Starting from the centuries preceding the Common Era and continuing through the Gupta period up to the eleventh century, it traces continuity and change in religion and art within the formative period of what we know today as Hinduism. The terrain it covers ranges from the grammatical treatises of Panini and Patanjali, to the Dharma Shastras as well as the epics and Puranas, to inscriptions and temple iconography. Deploying these many perspectives, it looks also at Akbar‚€™s religious reforms, which gain yet other dimensions via such scrutiny. The book concludes with a survey of European perceptions as well as misconceptions of India from earliest times (Greek encounters and their antecedents) to the late nineteenth century. It documents and analyses the intellectual heritage which conditioned colonial perceptions of India, as also modern conceptualizations of Hindu religious tradition.

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Hindu Rulers, Muslims Subjects: Islam Rights and the History of Kashmir by Mridu Rai : Rs695 ISBN: 9788178240657

This is a remarkable work of scholarship which shows how Kashmir‚€™s modern Muslim identity came into existence. In doing this, it demonstrates the complex manner in which politics can enforce the creation of religious identity. Kashmir is a hotbed of religious politics. Disputed between India and Pakistan, this territory comprises a large majority of Muslims who are subject to the laws of a predominantly Hindu and increasingly hinduised India. How did religion and politics become so inextricably enmeshed in defining and expressing the protest of Kashmir‚€™s Muslims against Hindu rule?

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Lived Islam in South Asia: Adaptation, Accommodation and Conflict by Imtiaz Ahmad and Helmut Reifeld (Eds.) : Rs695 ISBN: 9788187358152

Lived Islam in South Asia: Adaptation, Accommodation and Conflict is an extremely timely and important publication. Fourteen interesting papers, based on intensive fieldwork in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India, explore a highly controversial subject. They touch on the everyday religious lives of the Muslims in these countries. The book argues that Islam cannot be understood through the works of theologians alone, for whom it is a formal, uniform and rigid system of beliefs and practices. Popular Islam, or Islam as it is practised by millions of Muslims in South Asia, has an empirical validity and is a dynamic process of adjustment and accommodation as well as conflict with other religions, with which it coexists.

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Fruits of Worship : Practical Religion in Bengal by Ralph W Nicholas : Rs475 ISBN: 9788180280061

The essays collected in this books are based on field research carried out over an extended period in several villages in the Bengali-speaking area of South Asia. The center of attention is the religious life of ordinary people in rural Bengal. They cover a broad spectrum, including the Bengali attachment to goddess, the religious treatment of the calamities that befall poor people, and the analysis of myths, both historically and structurally. A long essay examines the rise of Sitala, goddess of diesease in south western Bengal in nineteenth century. It is accompanied by english translations of two versions of the Bengali Sitala narrative from that period. The Sanskrit Candi, or Sri Sri Durga Sapthasati, which is the authority for the evermore popular annual Durga puja, is analysed in relation to the worship of which it is an integral part. Also examined are the structure of the annual cycle of religious observances and the social organisation of Vaishnava and Islamic religious groups. Through detailed analysis of religious acts of ordinary people, including their rituals, the author builds up a uniquely complex picture of the world in its totality implicit in the culture of villages of the Bengal Delta

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Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation: Community, Religion and Cultural Nationalism by Tanika Sarkar : Rs595 ISBN: 9788178240671

This book is a brilliant historicisation and scathing critique of many of the dominant concepts by which Indians generally, and north Indian Hindus more specifically, think and live today. Historians, sociologists, political scientists and serious readers who wish to understand how the immediate past has shaped India‚€™s life will value this incisive work of a major historian.

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Indian Religions: The Spiritual Traditions of South Asia: An Anthology by Peter Heehs (Ed.) : Rs495 ISBN: 9788178240794

This book is meant for people interested in Indian religion, literature, history and general culture. While scholarly in its presentation and based on the most up-to-date literature, it is clearly written and intended to be accessible to students of South Asian religion. Indian Religions is an anthology of written and oral texts by spiritual teachers from South Asia. The period covered is some 3500 years ‚€“ from the period of the Rig Veda to the 1980s. About a hundred mystics and anonymous texts are included. All the major traditions (Vedic-Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sufi and Sikh) as well as heterodox and transgressive traditions, are represented.

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Religion and Personal Law in Secular India: A Call to Judgement by Gerald James Larson (Ed.) : Rs630 ISBN: 9788187358060

THIS BOOK provides a comprehensive look into the issues and challenges that India faces as it tries to put a uniform civil code into practice. Scholars representing a wide range of disciplines, from both North America and India, provide perspective on complex issues of multiculturalism that characterizes Indian society and identities. Readers seeking a deeper understanding of Indian history and culture will find a sensitive handling of the tensions between religious law and the claims of a modern, secular state in this timely volume.

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Dr K Chaudhry
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