One of the most consistent chroniclers of contemporary issues in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Pankaj Sekhsaria’s writings on the environment, wildlife conservation, development and indigenous communities have provided insights and perspective on the life of the islands for over two decades. Islands in Flux: The Andaman and Nicobar Story (HarperCollins India, 2017) is a compilation of Sekhsaria’s writings on key issues in the Islands …LISTEN HERE.
Each month starting November 2017, I'll be speaking to authors about their new books in South Asian Studies, very broadly defined, on the New Books Network podcast. With over 70 "channels" dedicated to area studies, history, art, fiction, popular culture and critical theory, the NBN is a consortium of podcasts devoted to introducing authors to new and old audiences, in and outside academia.
Indian Democracy: Origins, Trajectories, Contestations , an edited volume from Alf Nilsen, Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Anand Vaidya, taking a deep look at the forces behind the world’s largest democracy, what works, what doesn’t and hasn’t for a long time. LISTEN HERE.
My last interview of 2018, I spoke to anthropologist Alf Gunvald Nilsen about the Indian state’s everyday tyranny against its Bhil citizens. Nilsen’s new book Adivasis and the State: Subalternity and Citizenship in India’s Bhil Heartland parse how the deep tentacles of caste and class power embodied as the state reach into the adivasil everyday, not tethered to single issues of “development” induced displacement or the disappearing commons, but as an all-encompassing structural violence manifested in the realities of malnutrition, agricultural debt and seasonal migration. LISTEN HERE.
49.91% of India’s population was below the age of 24 in the 2011 Census. By 2020 India will become the world’s youngest country with 64% of its population in the working age group of 15-64 years. Economists anticipate this “demographic dividend” to yield as much as an additional 2% to the GDP growth rate but poor education, plummeting job opportunities and inadequate access to health care stand in the way. But who are Indian youth? What do they really want? I spoke to journalist Snigdha Poonam about her first book Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World (Harvard University Press 2018). LISTEN HERE.
After a hiatus, I spoke to historian Benjamin Robert Siegel this past October about his book Hungry Nation: Food, Famine and the Making of Modern India In his first book (Cambridge University Press 2018). LISTEN HERE.