Books on current Indian historico-political issues

Dominik Wujastyk dom at
Tue Mar 28 07:24:35 UTC 1995

I only recently discovered a useful series of little books called
"Tracts for the Times", published by Orient Longman, 1/24 Asaf Ali Road,
New Delhi 110 002.  The editor is Neeladri Bhattacharya, and the
editorial board is S. Gopal and Romila Thapar.  The two vols. I have are
about 100 pages or less, which is the right length for me. :-)

Some titles:

No. 1
_Khaki Shorts and Saffron Flags: a critique of the Hindu Right_, by
Tapan Basu, Pradip Datta, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Sambuddha Sen
Contents: 1. Introduction, 2. A sketch of RSS history, 3. The VHP:
Organizing mass communalism, 4. conclusion.  ("Penetrating and
meticulously researched critique of the forces of Hindutva... essential
reading for anyone who is concerned with the real nature of the polotics
of Hindutva, and with the increasing communalization of Indian

No. 5
_Ayodhya: archaeology after demolition_, by D. Mandal (1993).
Contents: 1. The discoveries, 2. Analysis, 3. Discussion.  ("Using
standard archaeological procedures ... concludes that there was no
temple of stone or brick lying below the [Ayodhya] mosque and that
there is no evidence of any act of destruction.  This is a defence of
archaeology against its political misuse.")

Also in the series:

_Environmental consciousness and urban planning_ by M. N. Buch.
_The question of faith_, by Rustom Bharucha.
_Kashmir: towards insurgency_, Balraj Puri.

These are useful books for getting an ueberblick of some of the issues
that are currently tearing India apart, politically, religiously, or


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