India: Perspectives on Politics, Economy and Labour 1918-2007; Vol. 1 – The Age of Gandhi, 1918-1957
This book in two volumes is about India in course of a century which has traversed varied phases and developments, some undoubtedly momentous and several others quite distressful or saddening. In 1947-8, both came together in the form of independence and the partition of India accompanied by unprecedented communal combats. The principal themes are political developments, economy and labour which together comprise most of the cumulative change that has occurred in the main period covered 1918-2007. Preparation for those changes, of which the first notable outcome was the constitution of 1919 began earlier. To facilitate understanding a brief review of the preceeding decade is provided. The leadership of Gandhi is the most extraordinary facet of the long period which is marked bysatyagrahaand civil disobedience, followed by repression and state violence. This is the reason for giving Volume I the sub-title,The Age of Gandhi. Following Independence, it stretched for about a decade longer until 1957. Volume II is about political shaping of India under a democratic constitution. It has governed the actions of strong and weak alike. Under its wide sway, people have learnt to take part in politics, make and unmake governments and now demand action against the corrupt and respect for law.
The totality of change is unprecedented in the long history, of India. The economy has changed beyond recognition though the progress is uneven and inequalities are growing even as deep seated poverty persists. Labour relations have seen the most turmoil in past but are now quieter and more management centred. Partial globalization and liberalization of the economy have impacted labour most. The interested readers will find facets of continuity and disjunction running through all the three themes in the book.