4 Victoria Terrace: Memoirs of a Surgeon covers tumultuous times in recent history, beginning from the later years of British Rule. Rarely does one come across a doctor”s account of what it meant to experience and handle human tragedies of the magnitude of the Bengal Famine or the Partition of the country.
Apart from being a doctor”s travelogue, there is hardly any major city in the world that Dr Chatterjee has not visited, this book also unfolds an extremely perceptive description of one of our most important social institutions: medical colleges and hospitals. We also get an inside view of the medical profession itself, one of the most politicized at every level, but not without enduring friendships and knowledge sharing.
These pages contain some tragic stories of dedicated brilliant doctors, who become the victims of their own profession. There are also accounts of almost miraculous surgery that saves patients, all but dead, and often just a few hours old.
The book ends with a reflection on the ethical dilemmas inherent in the medical profession in general and pediatric surgery in particular.
Education, Unemployment and Masculinities in India re-evaluates debates on education, modernity, and social change in contemporary development studies and anthropology. Education is widely imputed with the capacity to transform the prospects of the poor. But in the context of widespread unemployment in rural north India, it is better understood as a contradictory resource, providing marginalized youth with certain freedoms but also drawing them more tightly into systems of inequality.
The book advances this argument through detailed case studies of educated but unemployed or underemployed young men in rural western Uttar Pradesh. This book draws on fourteen months’ ethnographic research with young men from middle caste Hindu, Muslim, and ex-Untouchable backgrounds. In addition to offering a new perspective on how education affects the rural poor in South Asia, Education, Unemployment and Masculinities in India includes in-depth reflection on the politics of modernity, changing rural masculinities, and caste and communal politics.
The Indian economy continues to grow rapidly, taking in its stride poor harvests and rising oil prices. Industrial output, which had tended to be relatively low, has increased to double-digit levels, accompanied by rising levels of savings and investment. India’s healthy export performance has resulted in increased amounts of foreign exchange reserves, insuring against a large balance of payments (BOP) deficit in the future. An important factor in this process has been India’s relative political stability. Democracy is well entrenched and changes of government occur reasonably peacefully.
Is there a fly in the ointment? Could the growth process slacken or can it be accelerated further? What are the constraints to maintaining a high rate of growth over the next decade or two? These questions acquire special significance as we try to understand long-term growth in the current context of global economic slowdown. The papers in this volume seek to answer these questions.
Behind India’s recent economic growth lies a story of societal conflict that is scarcely talked about. Across its villages and production sites, state institutions and civil society organisations, the better and less well-off sections of society are engaged in antagonistic relations that determine the material conditions of one quarter of the world’s ‘poor’. Increasingly mobile and often with several jobs in multiple locations, India’s ‘classes of labour’ are highly segmented but far from passive in the face of ongoing exploitation and domination.
Drawing on more than a decade of fieldwork in rural South India, this book uses a ‘class-relational’ approach to analyse continuity and change in processes of accumulation, exploitation and domination. It focuses on the three interrelated arenas of labour relations, the state and civil society to understand how improvements can be made in the conditions of labourers working ‘at the margins’ of global production networks, primarilyas agricultural labourers and construction workers.Elements of social policy can improve the poor’s material conditions and expand their political spacewhere such ends are actively pursued by labouring class organisations. More fundamental change, though, requires stronger organisation of the informal workers who make up the majority of India’s population.
Society and Culture in India is a collection of eighteen carefully chosen essays written by internationally famous sociologists whose work is on India. It has been designed to take the reader through the discipline of Sociology to get an understanding of the complex nature of Indian society.
The editor of the volume, Subas Mohapatra has very perceptively grouped the various readings in the book under five main heads, they are: ‘An Introduction to Sociology and Pioneering Sociologists’, ‘Sociology of Caste Past and Present’, ‘Rural and Agrarian Society’, ‘Poverty and Development’ and ‘Contemporary Social Issues’.
The essays in this book dwell on several separate subject areas of sociology. This enables the Reader to provide a comprehensive view of the discipline of sociology itself as well as the society it tries to understand.
Some of the main concerns of this book are: growth and development of sociology in India; changing nature of caste, village and rural society; sociological analysis of poverty and contemporary issues associated with civil society; gender inequality and secularism and communalism.
The Reader does not try to be thematically exhaustive but it nevertheless enables one to see order beneath the everyday confusions of life in India.
The Enigma of the Kerala Woman: A Failed Promise of Literacy consists of multi-disciplinary research carried out on various aspects of gender relations in Kerala by scholars from a range of social science disciplines under The Gender Network, a regional network of researchers investigating the phenomenon of gender under varied social and economic settings. The introductory chapter provides an overarching framework for the individual studies. Breaking new ground in analytical and methodological dimensions of Women’s Studies, the papers collectively seek to provide an answer to the ‘enigma’ of the Kerala woman.
The book comes alive through two separate sections. The first one is devoted to case studies of women from the area of research and the second to photographs of Kerala women in various social settings with detailed anthropological captions. The two sections complement each other in supporting the main theme of the book. The book has a rich body of data which provides comparative figures relating to development indices for Kerala in relation to some other states as well as India as a whole.