This collection documents and analyzes, from different angles, the forces and trends that shape contemporary India's socio-economic reality. The contributors comprise an eclectic group—spiritual leaders, grassroot activists, as well as eminent thinkers from diverse fields like the judiciary, social development, environment, education, contemporary science and art. In contrast to the dominant characterization of a "Shining India" in recent years, these articles present a complex and multi-dimensional reality, essential for a balanced, objective understanding of the issues that shape today's India and indeed the world.
The Other India: Realities of an Emerging Power focuses on an India far removed from a country of glass and steel high-rises and air-conditioned schools; glistening malls and multiplexes; and fashion shows, Bollywood and T20 cricket. It explores issues like poverty and social justice; the role of religion in society—from inspiring struggles for social justice to instigating terrorism—the dangers of mindless destruction of nature, violation of human rights and the role of social action. Here dispassionate analysis of history and contemporary forces alternate with straight-from-the-heart narratives of grassroot activists. Candid despair shares space with encouraging stories of collective action bringing about real change.
This compilation will hold tremendous appeal for the general reader and will serve as an indispensable reference for policy-makers, academics and thinkers working in the fields of sociology, religion, environment, education, human rights, law and justice, development issues and politics. It is a must-read for anyone trying to get a holistic picture of contemporary India's dynamic society and economy.