A Dismantled State: The Untold Story of Kashmir After Article 370, Anuradha Bhasin

On August 5, 2019, the status of Jammu and Kashmir was altered by revoking Articles 370 and 35A, constitutional clauses that gave the region a sliver of autonomy since its accession to India in 1947. On the ground in the erstwhile state, the destiny of 1.4 crore Indian citizens had been decided while they were cocooned in their homes, trapped between concertina wires and barricades.

The home minister announced, “Not a drop of blood was shed,” even as officials defined Kashmir’s deafening silence as “willing acceptance.” The silence was accompanied by increased military presence in what was already one of the most militarised zones of the world. Roads were sealed, the internet suspended and communication brought to a halt. Kashmir became a war zone in the dead of night.

One of Kashmir’s foremost journalists brings readers the true picture of what happened in the Kashmir Valley after August 2019. Traversing history and geographies, and based on eyewitness accounts from a range of people, it tells the story of a land India desperately wants to make its own.

The Last Heroes: Foot Soldiers of Indian Freedom, P Sainath

So who really spearheaded India’s freedom struggle? The lesser known truth is that millions of ordinary people – farmers, labourers, homemakers – stood up to the British. People who never went on to be ministers, governors, presidents. Nor did they hold other high public offices. This is what they had in common: their opposition to Empire was uncompromising.

In The Last Heroes, these footsoldiers of Indian freedom tell us their stories. The men, women, and children featured in this book are Adivasis, Dalits, OBCs, Brahmins, Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus. They hail from different regions, speak different languages and include atheists and believers, Leftists, Gandhians and Ambedkarites.

The people featured pose the intriguing question, “What is freedom?” and what it means to be truly independent.

Don’t Forward That Text!: Confronting Thirty Pieces of Historical Misinformation: Separating Myths from History on Social Media, Amit Schandillia

With access to vast amounts of knowledge just a click away, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish verifiable information from fake news and made-up history. The sheer volume of untrustworthy information out there often overwhelms even the most earnest diligent fact-checkers. The line between history and myth is being deliberately – and often maliciously – blurred. Old superstitions are making a comeback and new ones are being manufactured on an industrial scale – a dangerous trend that has far-reaching ramifications.

Don’t Forward That Text! attempts to stanch this phenomenon with logic, reason and irrefutable research.

Indian Christmas: Essays, Memories, Hymns, edited by Jerry Pinto and Madhulika Liddle

Few countries celebrate religious and cultural festivals with greater passion, imagination and joy than India. And among the many festivals of this gloriously diverse, multicultural nation is Christmas. The Christian communities of India celebrate the birth of Christ with food, music, lights, prayer, family gatherings, charity, and other age-old traditions, some of which have evolved over almost two millennia. And for centuries, other communities have also participated in the celebration of this Indian festival – its cheer and spirit of love as resilient, even in times of division, as India itself.

This anthology captures the distinctive magic of Christmas in India. Damodar Mauzo, Vivek Menezes, Easterine Kire, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, Elizabeth Kuruvilla, Jane Borges, and Mary Sushma Kindo, among others, write about Christmas traditions and celebrations in Goa, Nagaland, Kerala, Delhi, Ranchi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Shillong, and rural Jharkhand. Arul Cellaturai writes tender poems in the Pillaitamil tradition to the moon about Baby Jesus, and Punjabi singers compose tappe-boliyan about Mary and her infant. There are Mughal miniatures depicting the birth of Jesus, and paintings by Jyoti Sahi and Sister Marie Claire inspired by folk art. And photographers capture images of Christmas time in Aizawl, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kochi. This is a homage to India’s ‘chutnified’ Christmas celebrations.

The Fractured Himalaya: India, Tibet, China, 1949-62, Nirupama Rao

Why did India and China go to war in 1962? What propelled Jawaharlal Nehru’s “vision” of China? Why is it necessary to understand the trans-Himalayan power play of India and China in the formative period of their nationhoods? The past shadows the present in this relationship and shapes current policy options, strongly influencing public debate in India to this day.

Nirupama Rao, a former Foreign Secretary of India, unknots this intensely complex saga of the early years of the India-China relationship. As a diplomat-practitioner, Rao’s telling is based not only on archival material from India, China, Britain and the United States, but also on a deep personal knowledge of China, where she served as India’s Ambassador. In addition, she brings a practitioner’s keen eye to the labyrinth of negotiations and official interactions that took place between the two countries from 1949 to 1962.

For, ln Your Tongue, l Cannot Fit: Encounters with Prison, edited by Shilpa Gupta and Salil Tripathi

Conceived in dialogue with artist Shilpa Gupta’s multimedia installation, the book brings together many of the poets featured in the installation – every one of them persecuted for their words. It is an immersive experience, featuring illustrations and images alongside the written pieces. This anthology that speaks truth to power and is a testament to resilience and the everlasting power of words.

The Tech Phoenix: Satyam’s 100-Day Turnaround, TN Manoharan and V Pattabhi Ram

On the morning of January 7, 2009, India and the global IT community watched in horror as a letter written by the chairman of Satyam Computers, B Ramalinga Raju, flashed on all news channels.
The tech czar confessed to fixing the books for years together, audits notwithstanding. This led to a host of consequences – Satyam stock prices crashed, its large employee base was deeply affected, and most importantly, India’s reputation as a premier IT service provider was sullied.

However, the story does not end there. In fact, in some ways, the story only begins at this point. The government swiftly stepped in and nominated a board, with leading figures from various fields. TN Manoharan, one of these board members, narrates the events of the tumultuous 100 days immediately following Raju’s letter, in what is the fastest turnaround in corporate history.