This year marks the relaunch of Shakti Books, a series which focuses on the 'invisible', the 'unspoken' and the 'new' within the field of gender studies. An imprint of Har-Anand Publications, this series seeks to analyse the patriarchal structures and strives to engage with history, culture, socio-economic order and the political nuances of the same.
The range of issues that this series covers include class, caste, religion, race, ethnicity, region, language, age, desire, and sexuality and their intersecting and overlapping concerns with gender. It also focuses on women of today, both in the urban and rural context, who are aspirational and building on the gains of a sustained women's movement in India. It undertakes to sensitize its readers, unravel the nuances of gender as well as encourages them to take part in this conversation.
Shakti Books has been the first series to consider and address these critical connections and provide a wide platform to a range of young authors and scholars in order to bring forward their writings on gender issues. It reiterates the indispensability of gender equality and focuses on certain aspects of the complexity of gender through an incisive analysis of the same.
The first book to come out upon the relaunch of this series is "Sex-Selective Abortion and the State" by Bijayalaxmi Nanda, which critically examines the policies, programmes, laws and schemes that have been unfurled by the state to improve the situation. From the value of the girl-child and sex-selective abortion to the role of feminist, this book is an incisive analysis of the countering of gender discrimination by the Indian State.
Nanda, who is the General Editor of the series as well as a lecturer at Miranda House examines issues pertaining to gender and its overlapping and inter-sectional concerns and contexts. It contextualises the debate, developments and disagreements that exist in the field by using a feminist theoretical lens.
Well-documented, with in-depth empirical and qualitative research, a rich theoretical framework and concrete recommendations, this book has significant policy implications. The state and society in India today are grappling with the issue of sex-selective abortion and the concerns of the girl-child and women while systematic solutions continue to elude them. It will thus be of great interest to policy-makers, implementers and academia. It will also be of interest to scholars, students, media-persons and practitioners who study, work, write and are interested to initiate change in this field.