The Economic Weekly was launched in 1949, shortly after Indian Independence. This period was full of hope and expectation, but also questioning and rethinking. Under the leadership of its illustrious founding editor, Sachin Chaudhuri, the journal soon became a major platform for the finest minds of the time, providing a diverse range of scholarship and space for differing, often conflicting, ideological positions.
Reading India: Selections from The Economic Weekly: Volume 1: 1949–1965 brings together landmark studies in sociology, politics and economics that capture the major analytical and policy debates published in the journal from 1949–65.The articles span a wide range of studies, exploring diverse topics, from the classic anthropological village studies, the issue of caste and religious identity, to economic policy debates on growth and investment, and agricultural and industrial policies. The final section discusses the influence of leaders such as Gandhi, Nehru and Tagore, analyses the positions of national and regional languages, and looks at the fostering of socio-economic development in independent India.
The volume also presents a sample of the many excellent Indian and foreign scholars with a deep knowledge of local and historical contexts and commitment to a new India—M. N. Srinivas, Bernard Cohn, Iravati Karve, Amartya Sen, V. K. R. V. Rao, Rajni Kothari, André Béteille, and Ghanshyam Shah, to name a few.
Pranab Bardhan is Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of California, Berkeley.
Sudipto Mundle is Distinguished Fellow, National Council of Applied Economic Research and has worked as a director at the Asian Development Bank. He has also served as a member of the Fourteenth Finance Commission.
Rohini Somanathan is Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.