Where the Madness Lies: Citizen Accounts of Identity and Nationalism
Kishalay Bhattacharjee
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

The idea of citizenship today conveys a static dullness, a clerical certification, and a fixed sense of identity. By re-examining the relationship between citizenship and nationality, Where the Madness Lies redefines the multiple sources of identity that ordinary people contend with. Citizenship becomes a critical theatre where diverse identities crisscross to create new forms of meaning and interaction.

Drawing from years of on-ground reportage, extensive interviews and fieldwork, the book foregrounds the perspectives of ordinary, often marginalised Indians and their everyday negotiations to carve out a place in their own country.

The author makes poignant use of family histories, memories, experiences of migration and dislocation, and genealogies to expand upon the theme of identity. A series of compelling stories take readers from Shillong to Jalandhar, to Banaras, Guwahati, Hyderabad, and Hampi, using the voices of residents to inform us of what it means to be a citizen and ask: How does exclusion work? What does it mean to be an ‘Other’ in one’s own country?

Engaging and historically grounded, but built on multiple personal accounts, Where the Madness Lies persuades one to rethink the dominant imaginations of ‘Indianness’ and bring back a sense of plurality to the idea of an Indian. This book will offer invaluable insights to citizens, social scientists, and scholars in general to create new imaginaries of citizenship and democracy.

Kishalay Bhattacharjee is Professor and Dean, Jindal School of Journalism and Communication, and Director, New Imaginations. He is a senior journalist with over twenty years of experience reporting from India’s conflict zones. He has previously served as Resident Editor, New Delhi Television Ltd. (NDTV).

List of Tables   ix
List of Abbreviations   xi
Acknowledgements    xiii

Prologue    1

1. The I of Identity   39
  Genealogies from Sialkot, Sylhet, Mithila, Cannanore and Shillong
2. The City in Citizenship   76
   Jalandhar, Banaras, Guwahati, Bhagnagar/Hyderabad and Hampi
3. Where the Madness Actually Lies    143
   Kayas, Manipuris, Gorkhas, Indian Chinese, Coolies, Chakmas
4. The Notion of a Nation   159
   Citizen Imaginaries

Appendix: Timeline of Events, January 2020–December 2021  214
Annexure: Survey   245
Index   274

Release Date: 25-03-2023 Venue: India International Centre, New Delhi.
1. Notice | Published in The Telegraph, Kolkata, 29 December 2023.
2. Book Review | Published in the Studies in Indian Politics (Sage Journals), 5 December 2023.
3. Listen to the interview with Prof. Kishalay Bhattacharjee discussing his book, "Where the Madness Lies: Citizen Accounts of Identity and Nationalism."
4. Book Review | Published in The Asian Age, New Delhi, 22 October 2023.
5. Book Review | Published in the Frontline (Fortnightly), Chenni, 28 July 2023.
6. Book Review | Published in The Sunday Standard, New Delhi, 25 April 2023/The New Indian Express, Chennai, 2 July 2023.
7. Book Review | Published in the Telegraph India , 16 June 2023.
8. An Excerpt | Published in the GOVERNANCE now, 29 April 2023.
9. Book Excerpt | Published in The Scroll.in, 27 April 2023.
10. Book Review | Published in The Asian Review of Books, 12 April 2023.
11. News about the launch of the book | Published in The Print, 31 March 2023.
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