Three Essays Collective

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Before the Law


“Everything that brought the country [the U.S.] to 9/11 remains in place.”
– Perry Anderson. (From Americana, his forthcoming book)


The Doctor and the Saint


In her introduction to the annotated critical edition of Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s ‘Annihilation of Caste’ (Navayana, 2014), Arundhati Roy looks at the ways in which caste plays out in modern India, and how the conflict between Ambedkar and Gandhi continues to resonate into the present day.

To mark the launch of the book Arundhati Roy will be in conversation with Asad Zaidi, Hindi poet and publisher, Three Essays Press.

Saturday, March 15, 2014, 7:00 pm
Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi

A life of music: Patha Chatterjee on Gangubai Hangal

Deepa Ganesh gives a “captivating and perceptive account of the life and music of Gangubai Hangal”.

Deepa Ganesh’s biography, A Life in Three Octaves, brings alive the musical journey of Gangubai Hangal and her day-to-day existential struggles. It was a life fraught with financial difficulties, which was made worse by a lack of worldliness—singers with half or a third her talent were paid twice as much—and an innate modesty marked by a kindness of spirit that was rare even in her time; Ustad Bismillah Khan, the shehnai maestro and her dear friend, was the other exception in Hindustani music. The writer, through a proliferation of detail gathered from conversations with Gangubai Hangal and those close to her, manages to make the reader connect with the deeply compassionate, giving woman who sang with such power, conviction and feeling.

Full review:

Three Essays at the New Delhi World Bank Fair

Three Essays books at the New Delhi World Book Fair 2014 (15-23 February) at the IPD Alternatives stall (Hall 14, Stall 13)

WBF 2014-01


wbf 2014-02

Slash that divides and bridges: Rajesh Sharma on his ‘in/disciplines’

A sad day for publishing

00 DonigerPenguin, in agreeing to withdraw Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus: an alternative history, has signaled its willingness to do business with the ultra right in India. The venerable Oxford University Press has already been doing this for some time: the fate of the book on Shivaji by James Laine and the anthology of essays by AK Ramanujan is still fresh in memory. The trend is not confined to just the big boys of multinational publishing: even the organisers of India Art Fair, year after year, cowered at the thought of displaying the work of MF Husain, whose art had become anathema to Hindutva camp, resulting in his long exile before his death in London.

In Mumbai Shiv Sena decides what plays are to be performed, which films to be shown, and, of course, whether artists from Pakistan are to be allowed in at all. In Maharashtra and Gujarat, and quite a few other places as well, the Hindutva outfits are able to impress, even overwhelm, the intelligentsia and the media to leave the task of critical interpretation and analysis to them. For all one knows Ambanis may even consider taking over Bertelsmann, the infamous corporation with a Nazi past, that now owns Penguin Random House.

At the same time, the state with its key institutions, ‘recuses’ itself at will from the matters of freedom of expression, regulation and censorship; it is happy to outsource the responsibility to all and sundry as part of the ongoing privatisation drive – as it is with regard to defense of secularism, pluralism and other constitutional imperatives.

A LIFE IN THREE OCTAVES: The Musical Journey of Gangubai Hangal

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Recently published



Prejudice, Law and Counterterrorism in India



notes on politics, education and culture


A Life in Three Octaves

The Musical Journey of Gangubai Hangal


Dalits and Adivasis in India's Business Economy

Three Essays and an Atlas


History as a Site of Struggle

Essays on History, Culture and Politics



Essays on Europe and India


Reason and Medicine

Art and science of healing from antiquity to modern times


Jalsa 3

A century

View all titles →

Forthcoming titles

  • On Their Watch

    Mass Violence and State Apathy in India – Examining the Record

    Ed. by Surabhi Chopra and Pritarani Jha, October 2014

  • Hindustani Music in Colonial Bombay

    By Aneesh Pradhan, November 2014

  • Americana

    By Perry Anderson, December 2014

  • Of Gardens and Graves

    Essays on Kashmir, Poems in Translation

    By Suvir Kaul, December 2014

  • Findings Keepings

    Life and Communism and Everything

    By Ralph Russell, January 2015

  • Medicine and the Raj

    By Daya Varma, January 2015

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