“Ram is the perfection of the limited personality, Krishna of the exuberant personality and Siva of the nondimensional personality.” Lohia’s elaboration of these “categories of perfection” is an absolute delight. During his entire career, Sir M Visversvaraya carried two pens on him, one of which belonged to the government and the other to him. He always used the former pen for office work and the latter for personal work. After possessing a devotee, a deity called Doddaswamy would start whistling with his fingers in his mouth. His devotees are to address him only through whistles. Another deity from Gulbarga district, Gajalakshmi, expected her devotees to bare all their teeth in her presence. Free ranging, delightful and erudite, Another India opens up the varied dimension of the past, discloses the subtle facets of religious experiences, and diversifies our imagination of tradition and suggests ways of reengaging it. It shares exciting stories about lesser-known and well-known figures in our country, from Bhimavva and Mastani Maa to Gandhi and Tagore. This book brings to you the many events, thoughts, people, who have been waylaid in our frequent quests for single, mainstream narratives. It brings to you the intricate cultural universe of India, where creative dissent has shaped the ethos, where rich visions and values of living together continue to hold sway in our constant striving to be a better, more just polity and society.
Chandan Gowda is Ramakrishna Hegde Chair Professor of Decentralization and Development at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru. He has edited Theatres of Democracy: Selected Essays of Shiv Visvanathan (2016), The Way I See It: A Gauri Lankesh Reader (2018) which later sawHindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil translations, and A Life in the World (2019), a book of autobiographical interviews he did with UR Ananthamurthy. His translation of UR Ananthamurthy’s novella Bara (2016) was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award for Translations, 2017. He has recently completed a book on the origins of development thought in colonial India with a focus on the old Mysore state. At present, he is currently co-translating and editing Daredevil Mustafa, a short fiction anthology by Purnachandra Tejasvi, and The Greatest Kannada Short Stories Ever Told and co-editing The Rammanohar Lohia Reader.
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