The period 1991–2017 was marked by communal aggression, the official start of economic liberalisation, growing inequality, and state militarisation. All of these have been reflected in the pages of the Economic and Political Weekly, which stood steadfast witness—quietly, reflectively, but also urgently and passionately.
Reading India, Vol. III (1991–2017), the final commemorative volume celebrating 50 years of the EPW, provides a selection of papers published during this period, reflecting on the social, political, and economic changes of the time. The chapters focus on five themes that dominated India’s public sphere: the question of secularism versus communalism; social justice and power-sharing by the backward castes; political configurations in a post-Congress polity; the entrenchment of impunity instead of the rule of law; and the political economy of economic policy.
The contributors to this volume have observed, analysed, and commentated on a range of topics, from the lack of justice for victims of the 2002 Gujarat massacres, farmer suicides, and agrarian distress, to the Indo–China border dispute. Focusing on India’s society, economy, and polity, the volume includes research on the environment, health, education, censorship, and free speech, among other themes which have formed subjects of prescient debates that will help us to make sense of the present times as well.
Pulapre Balakrishnan is Professor at Ashoka University and Senior Fellow, Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode.
Suhas Palshikar is former Professor of Politics and Public Administration, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, and Chief Editor, Studies in Indian Politics.
Nandini Sundar is Professor at the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.