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Defragmenting India: Riding a Bullet through the Gathering Storm

by Harish Nambiar SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Pub Date:
Pbk 251 pages
AU$44.99 NZ$46.08
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Defragmenting India is an account of the various fault lines of Indian society narrated through the interactions between multitudes of small-town people, framed through the 2002 Hindu-Muslim communal riots of Gujarat. The riots form the backdrop to the travelogue narrative, a journey undertaken by the journalist-author and his friend. The book maps the urban consciousness of India, spanning different spectrums of society, and highlights issues such as the relevance of religion in today's world and the effect of the communal upheavals on the attitudes of those who experience them. The narrative uses elements like oral history, folklore about local legends and historical events, research papers, imaginative speculations, biographic anecdotes and graphic reportage in an elliptical and poetic style. The author captures the undercurrents that flow through the life of a nation, community, city, families and individuals, simultaneously cutting across narrow divisive borders. It is a multi-hued portrait of 21st century India.

Intimacies Remapped
The Covered Trucks
Manto Strikes
An Iranian Exile in Sambhalpur
Sense and Sensibility
The Moor in the Idol Junkyard
Destinies, Dynasties, and Upstart Pickpockets
The Soldier who Annexed Three States for Three Daughters
'Our Shiv Sena'
'Dangerous Like My English Teacher'
The Open Circle
Do Children Smell Fear in Sweat?
Cardamom Cloud over Coffee
The Instinct to Upgrade
A Moses on his Harley Davidson
Arabs, Jains, Mammon and Osama
A Drunken RSS Man in Jassema
Invisible Migrations, Furtive Bleedings

This book is absorbing.…[The author] looks at riots and aftermath and geography and people from the unusual perch of a motorbike pillion rider.


Harish Nambiar is a journalist with Reuters in Mumbai. He has been a mainstream English journalist in India since 1990, having begun his career with the Times of India group. He has worked with the Indian Express, the television channel CNBC, and The Telegraph, Kolkata. In the course of his career as a reporter he has covered the 1992a93 communal riots and the serial blasts in Bombay. He has been responsible for several exposA©s in his stint as an investigative reporter with the Indian Express, specializing in economic offences, including the union housing scam that the Supreme Court of India took up. In between jobs, he has had a stint as a lecturer on English Literature, teaching poetry appreciation and the rise of the novel as a form. He has also taught two academic terms as a visiting lecturer of journalism.