This book attempts to dismantle the polarities of centre and margin and substantiate the way they interconnect and flow into each other across all differences of region and language. Crossing disciplinary boundaries, the essays in this volume foray into sociological, political, economic and narratological issues in order to fathom the rural life of India. Landscapes, histories and folk culture interact with each other to affect both narrative constructs and power-structures. The period covered by the essays spans nearly a hundred years and traces the history of India from the early decades through the dislocations of the partition right up to the present in an attempt to recapture the past, relocate priorities, recover lost myths and unveil the process of nation construction. The preoccupation with village India has been a constant concern with writers and film-makers from all regions and languages. Premchand, Sarat Chandra, Bibhutibhushan Bannerjee, Buddhadev Guha, Khushwant Singh, Krishna Sobti, Rahi Masoom Reza, Kamala Markandeya, Ashis Gupta, Phaneshwar Nath Renu, Thakazi Shankar Pillai, Thapil Mohammed Meeran, Sharan Kumar Limbale, O. V.
Vijayan and David Davidar being only some of them. The kaleidoscopic nature of village life has always been a part of the nation's imagination. The essays in this volume, open out the narrative of the subcontinental village to look at it anew in all its complexities and sociological concerns, to unfold a multi-layered reality.
Anisur Rahman is Professor of English at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Kumool Abbi is in the Department of Sociology, Punjab University, Chandigarh. Jasbir Jain is an independent writer and critic, based at Jaipur. Preeti Bhatt is a lecturer in English at Sant Jaya Acharya College, Jaipur.