A New India?

A New India?

Critical Reflections in the Long Twentieth Century

Edited by Anthony P. D'Costa
Foreword by Deepak Nayyar

India and Asia in the Global Economy

Anthem South Asian Studies

This volume critically examines the notion of a ‘new’ India by recognizing that India is changing remarkably and by exposing the many economic, social, and political contradictions that are integral to contemporary India.

Paperback, 224 Pages


April 2012

£25.00, $40.00

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About This Book

This book challenges the notion of a ‘new’ India, not by dismissing it as an imagined India, but by engaging in the debate as to what constitutes the new. It acknowledges that India is changing remarkably, while also acknowledging that in the overzealous enthusiasm about the new India there is collective amnesia about the other, older India. The essays argue that the increasing consolidation of capitalist markets of commodity production and consumption has unleashed not only economic growth and social change, but also introduced new contradictions associated with market dynamics in the economic and social spheres such as agrarian crisis, slow growth of employment, and the persistence of low-caste exploitation.

The volume also investigates the emergent tensions in art, architecture, and citizenship. In transforming India into an IT valley with corporate campuses, appealing to a westernized audience of technology entrepreneurs, including non-resident Indians abroad, architecture arguably is not addressing India’s economic and social plight. Art too has taken a commercial turn by catering to the new middle classes spawned by the global and Indian technology revolution. The extraordinary economic values they command seem to jar with the grim economic and social polarization underway. The book unravels contemporary India in its complexities and uncovers some of the hidden tensions plaguing the country, and points to the significance of a widely shared development outcome as an alternative for social transformation.


'Highly readable, thoroughly rigorous and anchored in serious historical scholarship... A brilliantly nuanced narrative of the two Indias, their interactions and consequences.' —Ajit Singh, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Cambridge

'D’Costa has created a fine multidisciplinary team not only from history but also from anthropology, art and architecture, development studies, economics and business to explore the need for a New India and the contradictions it generates.' —Professor Barbara Harriss-White, Director, Contemporary South Asia Studies Programme, Oxford University

Author Information

Anthony P. D’Costa is a Professor in Indian Studies and Research Director at the Asia Research Centre, Copenhagen Business School. He has written extensively on the global steel, Indian automobile, and IT industries, globalization, development, innovations, and industrial restructuring. He is currently working on globalization and the international mobility of IT workers, and editing volumes on Asian economic nationalism and the development experiences of India and China.


India and Asia in the Global Economy

Anthem South Asian Studies

Table of Contents

Foreword by Deepak Nayyar; What is this ‘New’ India? An Introduction – Anthony P. D’Costa; New Interpretations of India’s Economic Growth in the Twentieth Century – Kunal Sen; Continuity and Change: Notes on Agriculture in ‘New India’ – R. Ramakumar; An Uneasy Coexistence: The New and the Old in Indian Industry and Services – Jayan Jose Thomas; Is the New India Bypassing Women? Gendered Implications of India’s Growth – Nitya Rao; The ‘New’ Non Residents of India: A Short History of the NRI – Sareeta Amrute; Revivalism, Modernism and Internationalism: Finding the Old in the New India – Rebecca M. Brown; Creative Tensions: Contemporary Fine Art in the ‘New’ India – Nina Poulsen


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