Books For You

Grow outward, Grow inward

Ahmedabad : From Royal City To Megacity


Founded in 1411 by Sultan Ahmed Shah on the banks of the river Sabarmati, Ahmedabad is today India's seventh largest city and also one of the subcontinent's few medieval cities which continues to be prosperous and important.

Soon after it was established, the royal city of Ahmedabad became the commercial and cultural capital of Gujarat. The opening of the first textile mill in 1861 was a turning point and by the end of the century Ahmedabad was known as the Manchester of the East.

When Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1915, looking for a place where he could establish 'an institution for the whole of India', it was Ahmedabad he chose. With the setting up of his Sabarmati Ashram, the great manufacturing centre also became a centre for new awakening. It became the political hub of India, radiating the message of freedom struggle based on truth and non-violence. After Independence, it emerged as one of the fastest-growing cities of India and in the 1960s Ahmedabadis pioneered institutions of higher education and research in new fields such as space sciences, management, design and architecture.

Coinciding with the 600th anniversary of the founding of Ahmedabad, this broad brush history highlights socio-economic patterns that emphasize Indo-Islamic and Indo-European synthesis and continuity, bringing the focus back to the pluralistic heritage of this medieval city.

About the Author

Achyut Yagnik is the founder-secretary of Setu: Centre for Social Knowledge and Action, an Ahmedabad-based voluntary organization which has been working with marginalized communities since the early 1980s. He was a journalist and has also taught development communication as visiting faculty at the Gujarat University.

Suchitra Sheth studied visual communication at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She has been associated with Setu and now teaches at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at CEPT University, Ahmedabad.



The Bed of Procrustes

In this profound and playful book, Nassim Nicholas Taleb presents his ideas about life in the form of aphorisms, the world's earliest - and most memorable - literary form.

Procrustes was a character from Greek mythology who abducted travellers and invited them to spend the night in a special bed, which they had to fit to perfection. They never did. Those who were too tall had their legs chopped off; those who were too short were stretched.

Every aphorism here is about a Procrustean bed of sorts - we humans, facing the limits of our knowledge, the unseen and the unknown, resolve the tension by squeezing life and the world into crisp commoditized ideas, reductive categories, specific vocabularies and pre-packaged narratives. Only by embracing the unexpected - and accepting what we don't know - can we see the world as it really is.



Ramachandra Guha, author of the internationally acclaimed India After Gandhi, profiles nineteen Indians whose ideas had a defining impact on the formation and evolution of our republic and presents rare and compelling excerpts from their writings and speeches.
These men and women were not only influential political activists they also wrote with eloquence, authority and deliberation as they reflected on what Guha describes in his illuminating prologue as the most contentious times in the most interesting country in the world . Their writings take us from the subcontinent s first engagement with modernity in the nineteenth century, through the successive phases of the freedom movement, on through the decades after Independence. This book highlights little-known aspects of major figures in Indian history like Tagore and Nehru; it also rehabilitates thinkers who have been unjustly forgotten, such as Tarabai Shinde and Hamid Dalwai.
These makers of modern India did not speak in one voice: their perspectives are sometimes complementary, at other times contradictory. The topics they explore and analyse include religion, caste, gender, language, nationalism, colonialism, democracy, secularism and the economy that is to say, all that is significant in the human condition.
These issues have a resonance in our own times, not just in India but everywhere in the world as well.

http://www.booksforyou.co.in/Books/Makers-Of-Modern-India



Tag cloud

Sign in