Three Essays Collective

Recent blog posts

Following DD Kosambi

Ram Ramaswamy

Some years ago, a friend of mine at JNU proudly told me about a book that he had picked up from the library “sale”, a book that had once belonged to D D Kosambi (DDK). Apparently it had not been checked out for years, and was therefore deemed unworthy of staying on in the library, as if finding a place on the library shelf was just some sort of evolutionary game, a survival of the fittest and no more…

The JNU had, at some point in time, acquired Kosambi’s personal collection of books, that was, according to Mr R P Nene (DDK’s friend and assistant, in an interview in June 1985) “sold by his family after his death to the JNU at the cost of Rs. 75,000.” Details of how this happened are not too clear- Kosambi died in 1966, the JNU was founded in 1969, and the initial seed of the JNU library was that of the “prestigious Indian School of International Studies which was later merged with Jawaharlal Nehru University.” Our website goes on to say that the “JNU Library is a depository of all Govt. publications and publications of some important International Organisations like WHO, European Union, United Nations and its allied agencies etc. The Central Library is knowledge hub of Jawaharlal Nehru University, It provides comprehensive access to books, journals, theses and dissertations, reports, surveys covering diverse disciplines.”

The full text is here

DDK pic

“A lingering pain that seeps slowly and eternally through the flooded scars of Kashmir”

Hufaiza Pandit reviews Of Gardens and Graves

To read Of Gardens and of Graves is to witness the coming to life of Yeats’ famous line: “A terrible beauty is born”. It is to be reminded, if ever a reminder was needed, of the lingering pain that seeps slowly and eternally through the flooded scars of Kashmir, the scowl of the last half a century that darkens the fate of every subject, born under the auspices of its melancholic sky. It is hard to classify the book into a genre as it repudiates traditional hierarchies by refusing to be neatly categorized into one – it is simultaneously a memoir, a critical commentary, an anthology, collaboration, and a history all rolled into one, held together by a single source- Kashmir.  An arbitrary classification of the book structure could be that the book comprises of three basic divisions: Essays, translations and photographs. On a reading, though, the narratives under each rubric just blend with each other, without any manifest hierarchy.

To read the full review click here

javed dar 5 aug

Perry Anderson remembers Praful Bidwai

Praful Bidwai
On publication of The Indian Ideology, I was asked by Praful Bidwai if he could interview me about it for Outlook. I was then in France, and our exchange was conducted by email. … [Before this] I had met Praful just once, at a conference in Delhi in 2010, at which I remember him gently reproaching me for being uncritical of India’s intervention in East Bengal in 1971. After the interview, however, he would unfailingly send me his articles on political and social developments in the Subcontinent. From these I formed a great admiration for him as a writer and an activist. To my knowledge, few journalists anywhere in the world possessed the combination of human and intellectual qualities that was his: clarity of expression, independence of mind, balance of judgment, warmth of feeling, in the service of solidarity with the poor and the oppressed, not only in India, but anywhere in the world. He was extraordinarily productive, and completely unsectarian, in both sympathy and outlook. His sudden death in July of this year has deprived India of one of its finest spirits of the contemporary period.

perry anderson(Excerpted from The Indian Ideology. Note to the Second Edition.)
Link to the Outlook interview:…/respect-gandhi-if-you-…/282832

Of Gardens and Graves: Review by Gowhar Fazili in Biblio

To Speak of Kashmir

Of Gardens and Graves

Picture (88)


“In our world, official stories are repeated ad nauseam by every form of government or corporate media, and most often these stories have more to do with administrative convenience than with people’s lives. One of the most important tasks of writers is to produce accounts of experiences and events that contest official myopia and lies. Now, as you say, there are a number of writers who are doing just that, and doing so convincingly. I also believe that academics have a special responsibility to pay critical attention to such cultural productivity, and thus to make it part of larger conversations across the globe.”

Suvir Kaul in conversation with Majid Maqbool

Full text:–18.asp


Keeper of Memory

On Eduardo Galeano

… Galeano’s death on April 13 is like the death of Gabriel García Márquez last year. The departure of both is a huge loss for the continent. Both knew how to tell a tale: one could bring his literary talent into play in histories of imperialism, of everyday life, of football; the other his historical sense and chronicler’s skill into fiction. Both started as journalists and remained rooted in the tradition of radical reporting. Their approach to writing has sometimes been described, quite carelessly, as “idiosyncratic” and “magical”; something to be clubbed with gonzo journalism. That is nowhere near a fair description of the style, let alone the substance, of their work and lives….

For the full story go to:

Sharing Galeano

In Memorium – Daya Varma

Daya Varma died just a week ahead of the release of his second book, Medicine, Healthcare and the Raj: the unacknowledged legacy. He will be remembered for his extraordinary life – a life lived so directly, courageously and honestly. There were many books inside him, waiting to be shaped after he retired from his busy life as a scientist, teacher and progressive-radical activist in Montreal –  Three Essays Collective


Excerpts from the obituary notice released by his family and friends:

Dr. Daya Ram Varma
Passed on: March 22nd, 2015
August 23, 1929 – March 22, 2015

Dr. Daya Ram Varma, died Sunday March 22, 2015, at his home in St John’s surrounded by loving family and friends.

Daya was born in a small village called Narion in India to proud parents, the late Sampati and Matabadal Chowdhary. Starting at a one-room primary school in his village, pursuing his quest for education, he went on to receive MBBS and MD degrees with honours from the prestigious King George Medical College in Lucknow. He came to Canada to study in 1959 and received his PhD in Pharmacology from McGill University in 1961. He rose through the academic ranks, and then continued to work through a post-retirement appointment until 2007. He was made a professor emeritus in 2009.

He leaves behind Shree Mulay, who has been his wife, comrade and companion for twenty-eight years; his three children: Rahul (Dipti Gupta), Roli (Deepak Kapoor), and Rohit Varma (Asma Yasmin); their mother Krishna Varma; his four granddaughters: Ila, Sonia, Sarah, and Aliya, of whom he was very proud; and his step-son Aziz Mulay-Shah. Daya was pre-deceased by his step-son Sanjay Mulay-Shah. He also leaves behind his siblings, nieces, nephews, and other relatives and hundreds of close friends and comrades in India, Canada, and throughout the world.

Daya was a lifelong activist dedicated to equality, justice, and peace. He was a secularist and a socialist who applied his intellect towards social causes. He was featured in many documentary films such as Bhopal: Search for Justice, which chronicled his compelling findings as a way to find justice for victims of the Bhopal disaster (1984). He authored two books on the history of medicine, over 225 scientific papers, and a large number of political articles published in a range of prestigious journals. Never daunted, he compiled the March issue of INSAF bulletin during the last stages of his illness. Daya founded, supported, or influenced many progressive organizations such as the Indian Peoples Association in North America, CERAS, Kabir Cultural Center, the South Asia Women Community Center, Teesri Duniya Theatre, and many others. In particular, he championed the cause of peace and harmony between India and Pakistan.

Daya came from a small village in India and his life ended in a small city in Canada. He appreciated the warmth of people of St. John’s, Newfoundland and was an avid member of Bridge Clubs run by Marilyn Bennett and Joan Fitzgerald. Daya’s family thank Ms Helen Osmond who provided care during his last days.


← View older posts

Recently published


Adventures Into the Unknown



Outsider in the White House


Science in Saffron

Skeptical Essays on History of Science



Essays on Europe and India


Jalsa 4



The Indian Ideology


Of Gardens and Graves

Essays on Kashmir | Poems in Translation


Medicine, Healthcare and the Raj

The Unacknowledged Legacy

View all titles →

Forthcoming titles

  • Findings Keepings

    Life and Communism and Everything

    By Ralph Russell

  • original
  • original
  • original
  • original
  • original
  • original
  • original
  • original
  • original