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Books Of The Week - Saturday, 15th July 2023

The Indians - Histories of Civilization 
by - G. N. Devy 

About the Book

The Indians is one of the most ambitious projects yet undertaken to map the origins, evolution, and present-day reality of India’s civilization and people. Written by over one hundred of South Asia’s foremost scholars and domain experts, the essays in the book cover a period of some 12,000 years—from the last Ice Age to the twenty-first century.
The book is divided into seven sections. The first part looks at the evolution of humans in South Asia through the lens of the early ‘Indian’ population, their migrations, and the climate. The second part focuses on the emergence of different civilizations in the region through the domestication of plants and animals and other factors and how these civilizations eventually begin to decline. The third part discusses the languages and philosophies that defined ancient India—Buddhism, Jainism, Sanskrit, Indo-Iranian languages, and Pali literature, among others. The fourth part is a detailed study of society and culture in various geographical regions––the North, South, Northeast, the Deccan, East, and West India. The fifth part looks at the advent of colonialism and its impact on the country’s economy, social fabric, and knowledge systems. The sixth part looks at Adivasi movements, Ambedkarite politics, Gandhian resistance, and other events that would come to form the bedrock of the independent republic. And, finally, the seventh part looks at contemporary India––the workings of the Constitution and urbanism, liberalization, and other aspects of the modern Indian experience.
Taken together, the essays in the book provide remarkable insights into Indian history and society.

About the Author
G. N. Devy is currently the Obaid Siddiqi Chair Professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, and was previously Director, Adivasi Academy, Tejgadh, and Professor of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. He led the People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI), a comprehensive documentation of all living Indian languages, forming a fiftyvolume PLSI Series. He has received several awards for his writing as well as for his community work, including the Padma Shri, Prince Claus Award, and Linguapax Award. His English publications include After Amnesia, Of Many Heroes, Painted Words, Nomad Called Thief, The Question of Silence, Countering Violence, The Crisis Within: On Knowledge and Education in India, and Mahabharata: The Epic and the Nation.
Tony Joseph writes on ancient Indian history and is the author of Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From. He has been the Editor of Businessworld, Associate Editor of Business Standard, and Features Editor of the Economic Times at various times. He is currently working on a sequel to Early Indians.
Ravi Korisettar is an archaeologist and Adjunct Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, and Honorary Director of the Robert Bruce Foote Sanganakallu Archaeological Museum, Ballari. He was formerly a professor of archaeology at Karnatak University, Dharwad. He is the author of Quaternary Environments and Geoarchaeology of India, Early Human Behaviour in Global Context, Indian Archaeology in Retrospect (four volumes), and Beyond Stones and More Stones (four volumes). 
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