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Half a Billion Rising: The Emergence of the Indian Woman Paperback – 2016
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I am reviewing ‘Half a billion rising: the emergence of the Indian woman’ more than 2.5 years after reading it, and the first thing that now strikes me is the thoughtful title – let that number sink in. Half a billion.
The book is written almost in a travelogue style. The author has travelled widely across India and this is seen in the type of statistics (I am a fan of them), impact indicators and anecdotes mentioned right through. There is also plenty of attention given to the work being done by various NGOs towards empowering Indian women.
The author does well not to talk down to the readers with his superior grasp of ideas, and at the same time, he doesn’t oversimplify complex ideas. An idea can be complex, and admission of the same makes for a better reading and learning experience.
It is three years since the book has been published, and I am hoping to see the 10th anniversary version has updated statistics that show the distance that’s been covered in a decade’s time.
But Anirudha was intrigued, because through global statistics and empirical data, first-hand interviews and ensuing inferences, he was sensing a change. Collecting within the folds of his study examples from the underprivileged to the affluent, Anirudha decided to ‘chronicle the changes, the change drivers and their implications’ for the position of women in India. He wrote this book to make us travel into the lanes of Forbesgunge, Munger, Dimapur, Bhavnagar, Nashik and even cosmopolitan Mumbai and New Delhi, in order to make us meet those girls across strata of society who are collectively a part of this mini-revolution. What also comes through is how different generations are experiencing changing times – first-hand or through their daughters boldly deciding ‘Hum dukaan ja rahey hein’ or aspiring ‘Sirf Harvard hi Jana Hai.’
His aim was one - to understand ‘were women feeling more empowered?’ He answers in bold letters, YES. This gives the book its intent and the underlying note of promise, because while ‘numbers never tell the full story’ people’s voices do. The rise of woman power in India is a work in progress. And ‘Half a Billion Rising’ attempts to show that it is indeed ‘in progress.’
To read the full review, please go here - http://www.sakshinanda.com/2015/05/half-billion-rising-says-anirudha-dutta.html
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