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.
The essays in New Mansions for Music: Performance, Pedagogy and Criticism look at one of the most ancient and rigorous classical musical traditions of India, the Karnatik music system, and the kind of changes it underwent once it was relocated from traditional spaces of temples and salons to the public domain. Nineteenth-century Madras led the way in the transformation that Karnatik music underwent as it encountered the forces of modernization and standardization. This study also contributes to our understanding of the experience of modernity in India through the prism of music. The role of Madras city as patron and custodian of the performing arts, especially classical music offers an invaluable perspective on the larger processes of modernization in India As the title suggests, the areas of classical music, which were most influenced by these developments were pedagogy or modes of musical transmission, performance conventions and criticism or music appreciation. Once the urban elite demanded the widening of the teaching of classical music, traditional modes of music instruction underwent a major change involving a breakdown of the gurushishya parampara or the tradition wherein the teacher imparted knowledge to a chosen few. Caste and kinship were important determining factors for the selection of these shishyas or students, but in modern institutions like the universities these boundaries had to be demolished. Simultaneously, the public staging of music brought the performer into a new relationship with his audience, especially as the art form became subject to validation and criticism by the newly emerging music critic. In an immensely readable book peppered with anecdotes and conversations with leading musicians and critics of the day, as well as humorous visual representations, part caricature, part satirical, the author describes a rapidly changing society and its new look in early twentieth century Madras.
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.
This is the only book of its kind on India in Economic Geography. According to a reviewer, ‘there are some strong GIS systems, and there are strong spatial databases. This book is the first time these have come together in a satisfactory fashion.’
A singular contribution of Social & Economic Profile of India lies in the quality of its presentation. A very complex and a very wide range of data and analysis has been put forward with remarkable clarity and in a very reader friendly way. This state of the art data and analysis gives an almost complete picture of the socio-economic conditions of India in just 173 pages consisting of 84 colour-coded maps with corresponding text in colour. This book is the work of great scholarship but made accessible to a wide section of readers. It tells the story of what India has achieved since 1991. The subjects covered are of enormous public interest and also extremely useful for the framing of public policies. This book is equally indispensable to all the state departments of the government and to Indian companies wishing to invest in particular areas as well as foreign corporate organisations that wish to invest in India. It goes without saying that the researcher will find this comprehensive body of data and analysis very useful. Anyone wishing to go deeper into a particular problem has been directed to go to the relevant sources.
Unruly Hills examines the intersection of environmental and ethnic politics in the Indian state of Meghalaya. Based on extensive fieldwork, the author traces the entanglements of forest management, mining and territorial conflicts with local demands for indigenous sovereignty and rebellious aspirations for ethnic homelands. Massive extractions of limestone; controversies over uranium deposits; and the Supreme Court ban on logging apply to the cases specifically explored. The book will be of interest to students of anthropology, political ecology and environmental history as well as to those concerned with development and the rights of indigenous peoples.