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Manushi Publications
  Deepening Democracy

Challenges of Governance and Globalization in India
(Oxford University Press)
MADHU PURNIMA KISHWAR, • Pages: 334 India: Rs 595 (Hardbound) Rs 295 ( Paperback) US: $ 25 (Hardbound) $ 15 (Paperback) Price inclusive of airmail postage.

This volume brings together essays by noted scholar-activist Madhu Purnima Kishwar on enduring issues such as rights, governance, and the impact of globalization on the average Indian citizen.

The volume covers a range of issues from a glimpse of the License-Permit-Raid Raj as it affects the livelihood of the self-employed poor, to a critique of India's farm and economic policies. It further discusses the new divides being created by the country's language policy to the causes and possible remedies for ethnic conflicts in India.

While acknowledging that the current trade regime is biased in favour of powerful industrialized nations, Kishwar points to entrenched assumptions and positions taken by those she calls the Anti-Globalization Brigade who claim that liberalization and globalization are intrinsically anti-Third World and anti-poor. Written in a lucid and engaging style, this book will draw a wide readership among scholars across disciplines, in addition to activists, journalists, policy makers, bureaucrats, and the lay reader..

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  Women Bhakta Poets

10th Anniversary special volume Manushi Prakashan, 1989
Price: Rs.115 (India), US $ 10 (Overseas) includes postage Hardbound
• Pages: 120

Contains accounts of the life and poetry of some of the most outstanding rebel women in Indian history from the 6th to the 17th century - Mirabai, Andal, Avvaiyar, Muktabai, Janabai, Bahinabai, Lai Ded, Toral, Loyal. They have left a powerful social and cultural legacy, which constitutes a living tradition even today. Their songs are not only an integral part of popular culture in their regions, but they are also remembered and revered for having stood by their chosen ideals in defiance of prevalent social norms. Many of their poems have never been translated into English before.


Off the Beaten Track

Rethinking Gender Justice for Indian Women
Madhu Kishwar, Oxford University Press, September 1999
Price: Rs 295/- (India), US $ 15 (Overseas) Pages: 290
(Including postage) ISBN 019 5648461

These essays from MANUSHI challenge statist approaches to Indian women's rights. They review various laws ostensibly enacted to strengthen women's rights; the reasons for the failure of anti-dowry campaigns; why the culture of son preference is spreading; the denial of inheritance rights to women; how women relate to love, sex and marriage; sexual harassment; the problem of identities; the culture of beauty contests, and certain cultural icons that hold powerful sway among Indian women. This thought-provoking collection attempts to answer one of the most serious questions facing the women's movement today - why it is that, despite so much attention being focused on women's rights, the contemporary women's movement has failed to solve any of the issues it took up over the last two decades.


Religion at the Service of Nationalism and Other Essays

Madhu Kishwar, Oxford University Press, 1998
Price: Rs 295/- (India), US $ 15 (Overseas) Pages: 323
(Including of airmail postage)
ISBN 0195641612

This anthology of essays examines ethnic, religious and politically inspired conflicts in India. The first set of articles describes how Hindu-Sikh relations became hostage to the ongoing conflicts in Punjab over Centre-State relations. Another set describes Hindu-Muslim conflicts, including animosities that arose during the personal law controversy, the use of communal violence for electoral gains, the bloodshed in the aftermath of the destruction of Babri Masjid, and the transformation of the Kashmiri movement for regional autonomy into a murderous ethnic conflict between Hindus and Muslims. The essays closely intermesh reportage and political analysis with suggestions for methods to combat the politics of ethnic violence. Hard-hitting and provocative, they are characterized by an urgency and passion stemming from Madhu Kishwar's extensive field and archival work. Essential reading for all those concerned about finding solutions to the growing ethnic conflicts in India.


In Search of Answers:
Indian Women’s Voices from Manushi

Edited by Madhu Kishwar & Ruth Vanita
Manohar Publisher, 3rd edition, 1996 Price: Rs. 280(India), US $ 15 (Overseas) • Pages: 249

This book offers a selection of the most incisive records, analysis, as well as testimonies to have appeared in Manushi in its first five years. Vividly portrayed are the living and working conditions and the day-to-day struggles of millions of ordinary Indian women. The articles explore why, even four decades after Independence, women remain oppressed, and need to toil endlessly for basic necessities - food, fuel and water. This culture of women's subjugation is seen not as a hangover from a traditional past, but as rooted in modern economic and political developments of the last two centuries.


Gandhi and Women

Madhu Kishwar, Manushi Prakashan, 1986 Price. Rs. 50 (India), US$5 (Overseas) • Pages: 56

An essay on Mahatma Gandhi's lifelong involvement with women's issues - the strategies and methods he used for drawing women into the freedom movement, and the role that women played in evolving his philosophy of non-violent satyagraha. The essay also explores how while confronting the problem of mass mobilization, Gandhi became aware of women not only in terms of their problems but also as a powerful potential force in society, hitherto overlooked and suppressed.


Two Voices from the Save Himalaya Campaign
Interview with Sunderlal and Vimla Bahuguna (Hindi)
Madhu Kishwar, Manushi Prakashan, 1993
Price: Rs. 20 • Pages: 42

Sunderlal Bahuguna and his wife, Vimla Bahuguna are among those who founded the internationally renowned Chipko Andolan to save the ecology of the Himalayas with common people, especially women, and took a leading role in attempts to free the forests from the clutches of a rapacious government. The booklet contains a detailed interview of the Bahugunas by Madhu Kishwar, covering various aspects of their work, especially their struggle against the building of the Tehri Dam.


Roshni: A street play (Hindi)

Manushi Prakashan, 1987
Price: Rs. 20 (India), US $2 (Overseas) • Pages: 24

Faizal Alkazi helped the MANUSHI group to develop this street play in a theatre workshop in 1986. Ruth Vanita wrote the script based on the tape-recorded improvisations. Madhu Kishwar wrote the songs.

The play has been performed by the MANUSHI group in colonies, streets, parks, markets, schools and colleges. The play delineates the growth of a young girl and her learning to challenge the discriminatory treatment meted out to girls in many families.

Audio Visual Materials

Six Films by Madhu Kishwar, 1997 (Hindi)

(Not available in English version)
Special discount offer for Manushi Subscribers
CD – Rs.150.00 Plus Postage Charges

Dowry: Compulsion vs Need? (30 min.)

In India, the common perception is that dowry is a social evil. For women in particular, it is considered to be a curse. On one hand, it has been demanded repeatedly that the government should pass stricter laws to abolish the custom of dowry. But those very people who make such demands are unable to answer why the anti-dowry law that was enacted in 1961, and made even more stringent in 1984 and 1986, has remained unsuccessful. Why is it that even after so many decades of pronouncing dowry illegal, the culture of dowry has become stronger and more widespread? Why is it that even those who condemn it are not able to withstand the growing power of this custom in their own families? Is it a disease that has gripped people against their wish? Or does the problem lie elsewhere? These are some of the questions answered in this programme.

The Disinheritance of Women (30 min.)

In most parts of our country and among most communities, the belief that the rightful heirs to the family property are sons, is getting stronger. Parents might spend lakhs in buying consumer goods for their daughters as dowry, but very few are willing to give a share of the parental property to daughters. This documentary explores the implications of the growing culture of disinheritance of women in our country.

Liquor and State Policy (30 min.)

This film challenges some of the popular myths about anti-liquor movements in India, for example the belief that these are primarily led by women against men. The film reviews the dynamics of anti-liquor movements in four different states: Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and examines the key role played by men in initiating protests and struggles to rid their villages of the liquor menace. It also tries to explain why most anti-liquor movements start off by targeting drunkards but soon turn anti-government. The film examines the role and response of the state machinery with regard to spreading liquor consumption.

License Permit Raj: A View from Below (30 min.)

The consequences of the "liberalisation" of our economy are clearly evident in every city and even some villages. New models of TV, refrigerators, music systems, household gadgets and even clothes and shoes of international brands are invading the market every day. Cars of foreign models based on latest technology are running on our roads. But, on the other hand, vegetable-carts and cycle-rickshaws, which are a means of livelihood for millions and a cheap form of transport for common people, have not seen any technical improvement. On the contrary, their technology seems to have deteriorated further.

This film explores how the working of the License-Permit-Raid-Raj thwarts the earning ability and efforts of the poor city migrants to move out of the poverty trap. It provides moving glimpses as to how the poorest of the poor are fleeced of their earning by our babudom and the urgent need to evolve a bottoms-up approach to economic reforms.

Agriculture and Sarkari Controls (30 min.)

One of the major characteristics of developed countries is that only 2 to 10 per cent of the population is involved in agriculture. They not only feed their own people but are also in a position to export their agricultural surplus to the rest of the world. However in India, 70 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture even today, and most of them are so poor that they are unable to provide adequately even for their own families.

Even after 50 years of independence, planned economy and various other kinds of government controls have remained unsuccessful in removing India's poverty. On the other hand the hiatus between rural and urban standards of living and income has widened further. In 1951, if a villager was earning Rs. I, his city-dweller counterpart was earning Rs. 1.40. Today, a city-dweller's income is on an average about 10 times more than the villager's income. Why is this gap increasing between rural and urban areas? This film provides an insight into the crippling restrictions imposed by the state on agriculture and how these have kept farmers mired in poverty.

India's Traditional Technologists (30 min.)

Today India is considered a poor agricultural country. But until about 200 years back, our country was regarded as the world's leading manufacturing society. Europeans took hazardous voyages to India, attracted by its wealth and exquisite luxury goods. One of the major characteristics of our traditional technological excellence was that it did not merely cater to the aristocratic urban elite. High quality, aesthetically designed consumer goods and architectural wonders were found in virtually each part of the country. This is the reason why old jewellery of our ordinary village women, old brass and copper pots commonly used in rural homes, their carved doors, windows and household furniture are today sold as exorbitantly priced antique items in the international market.

This technological legacy was the inheritance of a group of jatis known as 'Vishwakarma', who are found in every Indian city and village.

Tragically enough, the jatis who elevated our country's technological, craft and industrial skills to such astonishing levels over centuries have today been declared as "Backward" and "Most Backward Castes". Why and how have their skills and art become obsolete? What impact has their devaluation had on the rest of society? These are some of the questions explored in this documentary.

Audio Cassette

Manushi Geet

Price : Rs 50 (India), US$ 5 (Overseas)
(including airmail postage)
Duration : 60 minutes

An audio cassette of songs and poems. Songs in Hindi by Madhu Kishwar, set to lively popular tunes plus a selection of Hindi poems by women, from MANUSHI back issues.

Play Songs from the site





Manushi Cartoon Cards

Set of 8 cards
Price: Rs 50 (India), US $ 5 (Overseas)
(including airmail postage)
Some of MANUSHI's most punchy cartoons are now
available on Greeting Cards


Aung San Suu Kyi postcard

In support of the pro-democracy movement in Burma
Set of 10 cards
Price: Rs 50 (India), US $ 5 (Overseas) (including airmail postage)



T-Shirts For A Nuclear Free World

Price: Rs 150 each (India)
US $10 (Overseas)
(including airmail postage)
Sizes: S,M,L, XL

Aims & Activities
 Select Campaigns and
 Constructive Engagements
Policy Reform for Street Vendors
Manushi Swachha Narayani Descends to Protect Street Vendors
Campaign on Behalf of Rickshaw
Strategies to Combat Sexual
Efforts at Reducing Communal
Campaign for Women’s Inheritance Rights
Designed by: Madhu Purnima Kishwar and Maintained by: Ravinder
Copyright © 2006, Manushi Trust, All Rights Reserved.