Publications

Our publications

RELIGION AND IDENTITY IN THE SOUTH ASIAN DIASPORA

Rajesh Rai, Oxford University Press India, 2014

Indians in Singapore, 1819 -1945 is the first comprehensive study of the Indian diaspora in colonial Singapore. Drawing on administrative archives, intelligence reports, observer accounts, newspapers, oral testimonies, and community-based records, the book provides a meticulous historical account of the formation of the diaspora in the colonial port-city, and its socio-political, religious and cultural development from the advent of British colonial rule to the end of the Japanese occupation. Indians in Singapore examines how the conditions of living as a minority in a multi-ethnic port-city; changes in colonial ideologies, administration and economy; developments in information-communication technologies; and transnational religious and socio-political currents in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, shaped Indian identity formations. What emerges is a fascinating account of how these Indian emigrants, by virtue of their unique vantage point in a frontier settlement that transformed into a metropolis of global significance, negotiated their position vis-à-vis the powers at hand and external processes in motion. In doing so, it reveals the distinct and complex nature of the historical journey of Indian migrants in the urban landscape of the colonial port-city – an aspect of diaspora studies that has received little attention in erstwhile scholarship.

RELIGION AND IDENTITY IN THE SOUTH ASIAN DIASPORA

Edited by Rajesh Rai and Chitra Sankaran, Routledge, 2013

Religious identity constitutes a key element in the formation, development and sustenance of South Asian diasporic communities. Through studies of South Asian communities situated in multiple locales, this book explores the role of religious identity in the social and political organization of the diaspora. It accounts for the factors that underlie the modification of ritual practice in the process of resettlement, and considers how multicultural policies in the adopted state, trans-generational changes and the proliferation of transnational media has impacted the development of these identities in the diaspora. Also crucial is the gender dimension, in terms of how religion and caste affect women’s roles in the South Asian diaspora. What emerges then from the way separate communities in the diaspora negotiate religion are diverse patterns that are strategic and contingent. Yet, paradoxically, the dynamic and evolving relationship between religion and diaspora becomes necessary, even imperative, for sustaining a cohesive collective identity in these communities.

INDIA SINCE 1980

Sumit Ganguly and Rahul Mukherji, Cambridge University Press, 2011

This book considers the remarkable transformations that have taken place in India since 1980, a period that began with the assassination of the formidable Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Her death, and that of her son Rajiv seven years later, marked the end of the Nehru-Gandhi era. Although the country remains one of the few democracies in the developing world, many of the policies instigated by these earlier regimes have been swept away to make room for dramatic alterations in the political, economic and social landscape. Sumit Ganguly and Rahul Mukherji, two leading political scientists of South Asia, chart these developments with particular reference to social and political mobilization, the rise of the BJP and its challenge to Nehruvian secularism and the changes to foreign policy that, in combination with its meteoric economic development, have ensured India a significant place on the world stage.

NAGARATHARS IN SINGAPORE

Thinnappan, S. P and Soundara Nayaki Vairavan, Singapore: 2010

Nagarathars or Chettiars from Chettinadu, Tamilnadu, have been part of Singapore life and commerce since the 1820s. This book shows how the community's traditional and successful occupation of moneylending was integral to Singapore's development. Their life was centred on warehouse/lodging centres or kittangis until Chettiar women started settling in Singapore in the 1920s and 1930s. A wider range of occupations was then taken up by the Chettiar men, and later women. Many full colour illustrations show Singapore's Chettiar Hindu temples, costumes, and ceremonies. Archival records and photographs illuminate the community's history. Short biographies of Chettiars eminent in public service, the professions and the arts show how their contribution to Singapore life extends far beyond the world of finance. With bibliography.
Nationalism in South Asia

NATIONALISM IN SOUTH ASIA

Rajesh Rai and Sunil Kukreja (eds.), New Delhi/Kuala Lumpur: Ashwin-Anoka Press, 2009

In a region that accounts for nearly one-quarter of the world’s population, South Asia is a mosaic of ethnic and religious communities. In spite of nation-building efforts, the recent history of erstwhile states in the region has shown their continued vulnerability to challenges from ethnic and religious nationalist movements. The essays in this volume study the key elements of the ideology and programme of specific nationalist movements in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Iran, and the political and socio-economic forces that have influenced their development. Collectively they endeavour to provide, an account of why nationalism remains the single most critical factor shaping political developments in South Asia.
New

New "Temples" of India: Singapore and India Collaboration in Information Technology Parks

Faizal bin Yahya, Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2008

After 1991, India after decades of stifling its own economic growth, has reformed its economy and has implemented its Look East policy to enhance its economic, business and trade linkages with East Asian economies. At the same time, Singapore has reached its own domestic limits to economic growth and is encouraging its companies to invest overseas to create its "external economic wing". Collaboration in information technology (IT) formed the key to initiating economic cooperation between Singapore and India. India has excellent IT talent but inadequate infrastructure to tap this talent for economic growth while Singapore has excelled in building high technology parks. The resulting collaboration is Singapore's flagship investment, the IT Park in Bangalore, India.
AJ_FOT

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE INDIAN DIASPORA

Brij V. Lal, Peter Reeves and Rajesh Rai (eds.), Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, 2007. (Republished in French by Les Editions Du Pacifique, 2008).

The Encyclopedia of the Indian Diaspora is the first comprehensive survey of Indian communities around the world. Over 30 contextual features show the initiatives taken by these communities and the contributions they have made both internationally and to their host societies, in areas as diverse as literature, cuisine, popular culture, sports and political life. The greater part of the book consists of 44 country/region profiles covering all parts of the world. Written by over 60 scholars from across the globe, most of whom are from the Diaspora, the encyclopedia provides insights into the experiences of a people about whom much is often assumed but little is actually known.

The recent expansion of the Indian Diaspora, now some 20-million strong and growing, is a social transformation of global significance. Many members of the Diaspora have reached the highest levels of global commerce and trade, international public services and diplomacy, the professions and academia. In addition, the creative literature from and about the Diaspora holds a distinctive and distinguished place in the world's literary imagination.

Written in an accessible style and illustrated with hundreds of photographs, documents and maps, The Encyclopedia of the Indian Diaspora is at once a work of profound scholarship as well as a reference work which will appeal to both members of the Diaspora as they seek to locate their place in a rapidly globalising world, and to those who wish to understand a major development in recent world history.

THE SOUTH ASIAN DIASPORA. TRANSNATIONAL NETWORKS AND CHANGING IDENTITIES

Rajesh Rai and Peter Reeves, London: Routledge, 2008 (Series: Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series)

The South Asian Diaspora numbers just under 30 million people worldwide, and it is recognized as the most widely dispersed diaspora. It is, moreover, one which of late has seen phenomenal growth, both due to natural increase and the result of a continued movement of professionals and labourers in the late 20th and early 21st century from the subcontinent to countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Singapore.
This book uses the concept of transnational networks as a means to understand the South Asian diaspora. Taking into account diverse aspects of formation and development, the concept breaks down the artificial boundaries that have been dominating the literature between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ era of migration. Thereby the continued connectedness of most historic South Asian settlements is shown, and the fluid nature of South Asian identities is explored.
Offering a unique and original insight into the South Asian diaspora, this book will be of interest to academics working in the field of South Asian Studies, Diaspora and Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Transnationalism and Globalisation.

PARTITION AND POSTCOLONIAL SOUTH ASIA: A READER

Gyanesh Kudaisya and Tan Tai Yong (eds.), London: Routledge, 2008 (Volume 1: History Writing, Violence, Borders; Volume 2: Gender, Minorities, Migrants and Volume 3: Identities, Geopolitics, Reconciliation)

Scholarly literature on the Partition of the Indian Subcontinent and post-colonial South Asia has grown enormously, with contributions to its corpus by historians, geographers, political scientists, international relations experts, anthropologists and scholars of gender, literature and cultural studies. Many of these works have taken the Partition of 1947 and its effects upon South Asia as their critical point of departure. They have opened up a range of academic concerns relating to themes such as borders and boundaries, refugee-hood and displacement, majorities and minorities, citizenship, diaspora and the construction of post-colonial identities. Partition and Post-Colonial South Asia makes available within a single work these critical texts. Crossing boundaries, it encourages a dialogue across disciplines. Moving away from single-country focus, it offers a much needed comparative dimension to Partition and Post Colonial Studies.

Partition and Post-Colonial South Asia is divided into three thematic volumes:
  1. Volume 1: History Writing, Violence, Borders
  2. Volume 2: Gender, Minorities, Migrants
  3. Volume 3: Identities, Geopolitics, Reconciliation.

INDIA'S ECONOMIC TRANSITION: THE POLITICS OF REFORMS, CRITICAL ISSUES IN INDIAN POLITICS

Rahul Mukherji, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007

This reader, the third in the Critical Issues in Indian Politics series, discusses the politics and economics behind liberalization, and the impact of reforms on the political economy of India. In a crisp yet comprehensive introduction, the editor analyses state-market relations in India from 1947 to the late 1980s, placing the reforms in context.

One of the first of its kind on the political economy of reforms, this book addresses such questions as: Why did policy change occur? How was the political economy overturned? How was Indian private capital allowed to play a significant role in development in a democratic polity? What were the consequences? What was the nature of reforms after 1991? And how were the structural changes sustained?

Key contributions from Ashutosh Varshney, Jagdish Bhagwati, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Lloyd and Susanne Rudolph, Baldev Raj Nayar, Prabhat Patnaik, and Rob Jenkins among others, focus on significant features of the post-reform era: the new politics of regulations governing markets in areas like telecommunications, power and the stock market, industrial lobbying, trade unionism and its failure to incorporate the unorganised sector, and the curious mix of costs and benefits from the rise of the IT sector.

The contributors also caution the globalising state against social disruption, and advocate an inclusive political economy of development. They highlight how society and politics are as important as economics to get around bottlenecks in growth and redistribution.

This collection of new and updated essays will be of value to students and scholars of Indian politics and economics, administrators and policy-makers.

REGION, NATION, "HEARTLAND" - Uttar Pradesh in India's body-politic

Gyanesh Kudaisya, India: Sage Publications, 2006

This book interrogates Uttar Pradesh’s identity as India’s “heartland” and unravels the historical processes that have shaped this region. In looking at this constructed identity of the state it argues that UP’s existence as a “region” cannot be taken uncritically as a given, considering the complex and divergent traditions that have been constituent of the state. It makes the case that UP has been imagined in multiple ways and explores five such distinct, though overlapping, constructions through its modern history: UP as a “colonial heartland”, as a “nationalist heartland”, as a “Hindu heartland”, as a “Muslim heartland”, and finally as a “postcolonial heartland”. The book closely examines UP’s transformation from a colonial to a postcolonial society, looking at issues of identities, mobilization and governance.

With its size, location and demography, UP has occupied a distinct position within India’s body politic. In the last two decades, the state has seen dramatic political change, marked by fragmentation along lines of religion, region, class and caste. Region, Nation, “Heartland” offers insights into factors that lie behind this social and political churning, which promises to transform not just UP, but India itself. The book offers a fresh perspective into the dynamics of how “regions” have contributed to the projects of state and nation-building in South Asia.

THE AFTERMATH OF PARTITION IN SOUTH ASIA

Gyanesh Kudaisya and Tan Tai Yong (eds.), Routledge, 2002

This book draws upon new theoretical insights and fresh bodies of data to historically reappraise partition in the light of its long aftermath. It uses a comparative approach by viewing South Asia in its totality, rather than looking at it in narrow 'national' terms. As the first book to focus on the aftermath of partition, it fills a distinctive niche in the study of contemporary South Asia.