Book about Bastar

#1 Jan 28th, 2008, 23:40
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#1
I've just read a great book about Bastar and would like to recommend it. It's called "After Elwin: Encounters with tribal life in central India" by Prosenjit Das Gupta, published Chronicle Books 2007. The author is from Calcutta and since the early 70's he's been making trips into the tribal villages of Bastar and Orissa. He was inspired by the writings of Verrier Elwin (British missionary-turned-anthropologist) who lived in those areas in the 30's and 40's. The book has some chapters about Elwin (but a better biography is Ramachandra Guha - Savaging the Civilised) but the more fascinating parts of the book - for me anyway - are when he writes about his own travels, impressions and experiences. I think it would probably be really interesting for anyone who has been in that area recently to see how things have changed.
I don't know how widely available the book is - I bought it at Oxford Books in Connaught Place.
#2 Jan 29th, 2008, 00:28
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#2
Thanks. Sounds interesting, putting it on my list.

Agree that Guha's bio on Elwin was good. And he also has introduced "Lives in the Wilderness", where Elwin's autobiography is part of 3 (Salim Ali and Corbett being the other two)
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#3 Apr 29th, 2008, 22:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post I've just read a great book about Bastar and would like to recommend it. It's called "After Elwin: Encounters with tribal life in central India" by Prosenjit Das Gupta, published Chronicle Books 2007. The author is from Calcutta and since the early 70's he's been making trips into the tribal villages of Bastar and Orissa.
Thanks for the info. I will keep an eye out for it as I absolutely must visit the Bastar region sometime in my life.
#4 Apr 30th, 2008, 04:51
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All the books from Verrier Elwin are very interesting. I've read "Leaves from the Jungle". Life in a Gond village. The diary of his life in a Gond Village in the Maikal Hills from 1932 to 1936.

Unfortunately is not easy to find this books.

Jorge
#5 Jan 30th, 2009, 23:36
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post I've just read a great book about Bastar and would like to recommend it. It's called "After Elwin: Encounters with tribal life in central India" by Prosenjit Das Gupta, published Chronicle Books 2007. The author is from Calcutta and since the early 70's he's been making trips into the tribal villages of Bastar and Orissa. He was inspired by the writings of Verrier Elwin (British missionary-turned-anthropologist) who lived in those areas in the 30's and 40's. The book has some chapters about Elwin (but a better biography is Ramachandra Guha - Savaging the Civilised) but the more fascinating parts of the book - for me anyway - are when he writes about his own travels, impressions and experiences. I think it would probably be really interesting for anyone who has been in that area recently to see how things have changed.
I don't know how widely available the book is - I bought it at Oxford Books in Connaught Place.

I am reading this book at the moment, Julia, and finding it extremely interesting as it describes a part of India which is totally unknown to me.

Also I seem to be following the trail of Verrier Elwin. I found his autobiography "The Tribal World of Verrier Elwin" in a travel bookshop in London.

These books are like opening a window onto a new planet, full of discoveries!
#6 Jan 31st, 2009, 02:51
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Great, Theyyam!

Elwin is such a fascinating character and his story seems to involve so many interesting, and still topical, issues like religion, tribal life, conservation and forest policy ...

I'd highly recommend that biography by Guha too. Anything by him actually - he's my man of the moment - I just read his book on environmentalism(s) How much Should a Person Consume (I tkink it's an odd title) and before that a collection of his essays An Anthropologist Among the Marxists (great title ), one of the essays was about Elwin.

Are you going to be visiting Bastar area?

Julia
#7 Jan 31st, 2009, 10:48
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JuliaF, you may enjoy another book, unconnected to Elwin- Everybody Loves a Good Drought, (P Srinivas)

A disturbing masterpiece.
#8 Feb 1st, 2009, 02:56
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Thanks Capt.

That book has been sitting on my shelf for about 10 years and I've never picked it up to read - but I will now.

I'm almost through In Spite of the Gods at the moment, was very underwhelmed at first probably because I'd come to it straight from reading Guha, but I think it gets better - I will stick with it now.
#9 Feb 1st, 2009, 16:53
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#9
Julia, no I am not planning for a trip to Bastar yet, although it does sound fascinating! (I sent you a PM just now.)

Julia and Capt'n, thanks for the book recommendations.
#10 Feb 1st, 2009, 21:37
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I'm almost through In Spite of the Gods at the moment, was very underwhelmed...
I enjoyed the book. To me, it was a very accurate depiction of much of the recent history of India, and written with nuance in a way few Indian authors have managed to do.

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