Rabindranath Tagore often saw in his mind’s eye his writings turn into dust ‘under the wheels of time’, as he put it in 1939. When he was barely thirty-five years of age and a rather obscure poet he wrote a poem addressing his readers a century later: ‘A hundred years from now/ I wonder who you are reading this poem of mine’ (1895).
Judy Wakabayashi and Rita Kothari’s Decentering Translation Studies: India and Beyond, now in its Indian edition, seeks to unearth what the Introduction calls the ‘local stories of translation’, premised on the assumption that local cultures and contexts determine the nature of translation and translation theory.
The back page write up on this book reads thus: ‘A compendium in Prose and Verse of Crimes perpetrated after office hours on sundry aspects of economy and society by a lapsed social scientist in the cause of expanding the horizons and shaping the values of young and unpromising scholars.’
The book under review opens with a con- ceptual framework for understanding local governance as it flows through the regions of good governance, decentralization and reforms in India. He has reiterated the fact that there is a vital need to shift the focus from ‘government’ to ‘governance’, there-by, emphasizing decentralization rather than delegation.
The book under review is fascinating and disappointing at the same time. It is a masterly survey of the developmental and economic history literature on the significant changes that have taken place in the global economy over a long historical period stretching into many centuries.
Long before the city became trendy, there was the Indian city. It existed in our colourful and incredible mythology. It existed when the first of human civilization took root on the subcontinent. It was central to the multiple kingdoms that flourished from corner to corner in this vast land for centuries.
Among the recent works on Bihar, men- tion may be made of Vinita Damodaran (Broken Promises, 1992), Papiya Ghosh (Community and Nation, 2008), Hitendra Patel (Communalism and the Intelligentsia, 2011), Narendra Jha (The Making of Bihar, 2012), Lata Singh (Popular Translations of Nationalism, 2012).
The book under review discusses the cul- tural contours of North East India in three key areas: the integrated approach to the understanding of history using folk materials; tradition and change in folk culture; and the pan-Indian connections of religion, epics, arts and crafts.