The Political Biography of an Earthquake: Aftermath and Amnesia in Gujarat, India

Paperback | June 1, 2014

byEdward Simpson

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For those so-minded, the aftermath of an earthquake presents opportunities to intervene. Thus, in Gujarat, following the disaster of 2001, leaders were deposed, proletariats created, religious fundamentalism incubated, the state restructured, and industrial capital-ism expanded exponentially.Rather than gazing in at those struggling in the ruins, as is commonplace in the literature, this book looks out from the affected region at those who came to intervene. Based on extensive research amid the dust and noise of reconstruction, the author focuses on the survivors and their interactionswith death, history, and with those who came to use the shock of disaster to change the order of things.Edward Simpson takes us deep into the experience of surviving a "natural" disaster. We see a society in mourning, further alienated by manufactured conditions of uncertainty and absurdity. We witness arguments about the past. What was important? What should be preserved? Was modernisation the causeof the disaster or the antidote?As people were putting things back together, they also knew that future earthquakes were inevitable. How did they learn to live with this terrible truth? How have people in other times and places come to terms with the promise of another earthquake, knowing that things will fall apart again?

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For those so-minded, the aftermath of an earthquake presents opportunities to intervene. Thus, in Gujarat, following the disaster of 2001, leaders were deposed, proletariats created, religious fundamentalism incubated, the state restructured, and industrial capital-ism expanded exponentially.Rather than gazing in at those struggling in...

Edward Simpson is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He co-edited Struggling With History: Islam and Cosmopolitanism in the Western Indian Ocean.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.61 × 0.79 inPublished:June 1, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019935992X

ISBN - 13:9780199359929

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"Anyone interested in the future direction of India and its economy will find considerable food for thought in The Political Biography of an Earthquake." --Andrew Robinson, The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society