Averting the Apocalypse: Social Movements in India Today

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Duke University Press, Feb 20, 1990 - Social Science - 467 pages
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There are two Indias: the caste and class elite who hold all power and make up 10 to 15 percent of the population, and everyone else. Averting the Apocalypse is about everyone else. Arthur Bonner, a former New York Times reporter with long experience as a foreign correspondent in Asia, conducted interviews over many months while traveling almost 20,000 miles within India seeking out the underclass and social activists who together are beginning to mobilize for social change at the bottom of Indian society. Working in areas torn by violence, Bonner offers a terrifyingly accurate portrait of a society bloodied by decades of unequal social structure and the absence of a civil society and political mechanism capable of responding to the exploitation of the poor and weak.
Bonner finds that India’s inability or refusal to address its debilitating social structure may be the precursor to an apocalyptic social upheaval unless heed is paid to the social movements that his first-hand investigation reveals.
 

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Contents

1 A Longing for Freedom
1
2 A Missed Tryst
8
3 The Rich and the Poor
19
4 We the Invisible
25
5 The Rescue of Bishnu and Uma
33
6 Sister Ritas Report
42
7 Devadasis and Hijras
52
8 Female Feticide
58
29 The Role of Activists
206
30 Nonviolent Melodrama
217
31 Journalism and Its Perils
228
32 We Have a Dream
240
33 Myths and Identity
249
34 The Front Paw of the Revolution
258
35 From Revolt to Renewal
267
36 A Civilization That Doesnt Work
272

9 The Goddess of Food
71
10 Tribal India
81
11 A Truck and Some Cows
85
12 Creating a New Revolutionary Class
92
13 The Mutiny of the Innocents
100
14 Save the Western Ghats
106
15 The Wandering Charcoal Makers
111
16 The Failure of Charisma
120
17 The Golana Massacre
126
18 Temples and Toilets
133
19 A Museum of Living Fossils
141
20 Temples or Tombs?
149
21 Pragmatic Activists
153
22 Population and Sterilization
158
23 A Model for Community Health
164
24 Working for Women
170
25 Slaves of Sabarmati
178
26 The Rape of Guntaben
184
27 The Mystic Dancer
192
Blindings and Massacres
196
37 Death by Encounter
280
38 A Village Confrontation
288
39 A Man with Faith in India
298
40 Broken Promises Broken Children
308
41 The Little Carpet Makers
315
42 The Little Match Girls
322
43 Riddles of Hinduism
331
44 The Conversions at Meenakshipuram
344
45 Manipulating Myths and Symbols
352
46 The Juggernaut Claims Its Victims
362
47 The Politics of Passion
377
48 The Fiery Swami
395
49 The Triumph of Gandhis Assassin
404
50 Averting the Apocalypse
410
Glossary
417
Notes
427
Bibliography
451
Index
457
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