“Ram is the perfection of the limited personality, Krishna of the exuberant personality and Siva of the nondimensional personality.” Lohia’s elaboration of these “categories of perfection” is an absolute delight. During his entire career, Sir M Visversvaraya carried two pens on him, one of which belonged to the government and the other to him. He always used the former pen for office work and the latter for personal work. After possessing a devotee, a deity called Doddaswamy would start whistling with his fingers in his mouth. His devotees are to address him only through whistles. Another deity from Gulbarga district, Gajalakshmi, expected her devotees to bare all their teeth in her presence. Free ranging, delightful and erudite, Another India opens up the varied dimension of the past, discloses the subtle facets of religious experiences, and diversifies our imagination of tradition and suggests ways of reengaging it. It shares exciting stories about lesser-known and well-known figures in our country, from Bhimavva and Mastani Maa to Gandhi and Tagore. This book brings to you the many events, thoughts, people, who have been waylaid in our frequent quests for single, mainstream narratives. It brings to you the intricate cultural universe of India, where creative dissent has shaped the ethos, where rich visions and values of living together continue to hold sway in our constant striving to be a better, more just polity and society.
‘Another India is a metaphor for rich cultural diversity. It is a tapestry that lucidly marks the criss-crossing of intellectual currents which run through people, memories and events — between the regions and the nation, between the particular and the universal.’ GOPAL GURU
‘This collection of essays, informed by an immersion in the texture of South Indian literary life and a vigorous humanism, provides an unusual and wonderful introduction to the diverse lineages of Indian cultural and intellectual experiences.’ PRATAP BHANU MEHTA
‘Few books in the social sciences can connect culture, policy, politics and folklore and yet remain playful. Chandan Gowda’s Another India represents such a cultural anthropology at its best. Effortlessly weaving the topical and the classical, and traversing the world of women Sufis, barbers, akhadas and also providing wonderful anecdotes and insights about legends like Ambedkar, Kuvempu and Lohia, this anthology is a festival of Indian diversity at its best. This is a brilliant book of insights, a book that elaborates how culture, people and creativity add to the making of the democratic imagination.’ SHIV VISVANATHAN
‘A product of immaculate scholarship, refined rumination and humane sensibility — drawing upon little known or forgotten bits of history, mythology, literature, and personal encounters with exceptional individuals, this excellent book urges us to reflect on our predicament as a people.’ GEETANJALI SHREE
‘This playful assemblage of slices of local and translocal cultures of India — including the mythic and the folk — are accompanied by glimpses into some of the country's finest minds. Together they give the book a certain charm that is matched by the author's easy, empathic, non-judgemental style.’ ASHIS NANDY
About the Author
Chandan Gowda is Ramakrishna Hegde Chair Professor of Decentral-ization and Development at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru. He has edited Theatres of Democracy: Selected Essays of Shiv Visvanathan (2016), The Way I See It: A Gauri Lankesh Reader (2018) which later saw Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil translations, as well as A Life in the World (2019), a book of autobiographical interviews he did with UR Ananthamurthy. His translation of UR Ananthamurthy’s novella Bara (2016) was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award for Translations, 2017. He is currently co-translating and editing Daredevil Mustafa, a short fiction anthology by Purnachandra Tejasvi, and The Greatest Kannada Short Stories Ever Told and co-editing The Rammanohar Lohia Reader.