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The art of not being governed by James Scott, Yale University Press, US $10
For two thousand years pastoralist groups in Zomia (a mountainous region the size of Europe that today consists of portions of seven southeast Asian countries) have fled projects of the organized state societies—slavery, conscription, taxes, corvée labour, epidemics, and warfare. This book evaluates the strategies employed by the people of Zomia to remain stateless: physical dispersion in rugged terrain, farming practices that enhance mobility and a largely oral culture that allows them to reinvent their histories.
Village Matters, Relocating Villages in the Contemporary Anthropology of India, Editors, Diane P. Mines, Nicolas Yazgi, OUP, Rs 895
The contributors to this volume address how villages matter in relation to contemporary regional and global practices, including irrigation, electioneering, religious movements, nationalism, communalism, ecology, labour and political movements, military service, cinematic representation and construction of memory.
Mother Pious Lady, Making Sense of Everyday India by Santosh Desai, Harper Collins, Rs 399
A new India is emerging from within the folds of its many pasts. It needs to be seen with new eyes, free from the baggage of yesterday’s characterizations. This is what Santosh Desai, one of India’s best known social commentators, does in this warm and witty look at the changing urban Indian middle class.