An emotional roller-coaster set against the backdrop of 11th century India – little mentioned in the books.
This is the tale of the charming and gentle Udaymati, trusting and elegant queen of Anuhilwara, who was proud of her family and country. Prudent in her thoughts and decisions, she yearned for a genteel way of life, which unfortunately eluded her.
Udaymati is caught in the vortex of turbulent life, when King Bhimdev, who promised her enduring love and a lifetime of happiness, turns back on his promise. This was a turning point in her life when she realises, deception brings with it nothing but anguish.
When a ruthless invader from a foreign land across the border goes on a looting spree, and her country is plunged into untold miseries following the invasion, Udaymati rises above her personal conflicts, and together with Bhimdev and Vimal Shah, focuses on the safety of the people, and the safe-keeping of the royal treasure and the cache of the Somnath.
Udaymati resolutely believes that every defeat can be turned into a victory and every lost war can lay the foundation of a whopping resurgence in the future… What remains to be seen in this tale is, whether the same is applicable in the case of her personal life.
The story vividly describes a time when attitudes to life, society, religion and politics, in general, were in many ways, different from the ones which are prevalent today; yet, the fact is that they are very much relevant even today. It is an aperture that focuses on a fascinating world.
Who I am today? Merely a suffering soul, tormented by my own guile. I cannot tread the same lanes, the royal corridors again that I left behind a year ago; so what if I want to rectify today, something that I destroyed yesterday.
Fateh Kanwar, the princess of Bikaner, stunningly beautiful and noble was not born to rule. Or so she thought.
Married at the age of twelve, tender love grew in her life after she took saptpadi with a crown prince. They were two young lives converging on a deadly course: one an innocent princess of Bikaner, who was living an idyllic life in royal corridors, the other, a young crown prince, who had spent all his life defying the traditions and Raj dharma, even after ascending the throne.
After a series of shocking events, it was her brilliant mother-in-law who paved the way for her elevation to become a regent queen. But yet again her world turned upside down.
She perceived the political intrigues and power play of her two most trusted people as the key to her rule. Destiny defied her again. Fateh Kanwar herself becomes a victim of greed for power. Or so the people believed.
It is the tale of love, loss, pain, pleasure, lust and greed. It is a vivid account of the lifelong struggle of a simple young woman, who walked the tightrope of being a queen and a mother and therefore became a compelling story that is as relevant today as it was yesterday.
In an ideal society, men and women must live and work together and be treated equally in all matters. However, for generations, men have dominated the social system, rejecting the very concept of male-female equality. By hitting at both – the social and cultural biases, this book addresses some of the hotly debated issues of our time.
The author has also raised relevant questions like-whether women have some inane qualities that make them better of the male-folks; the general belief that women lack leadership qualities-is it a fact or fiction etc. ? Women in rural India have borne the brunt of violence in diverse ways for ages precisely because of patriarchal value system and social conditioning. Violent practices have been used as a means of social control. It is almost like a daily ritual, both in private and public domain because its impact is direct and devastating.
The routine incidents of violence in rural households and demonstration of gender bias and physical violence at times in public institutions like panchayats are all too frightening. There are, at the same time, positive signs of change and the redeeming factor is – women are catalyst of such change. But such places are far and few. The author has attempted to closely analyze various dimensions of violence directed against women living in the rural milieu- manifestation of various forms of violence and its ramifications like establishment and sustenance of unquestioned male dominance, subjugation of females to the extent of complete surrender, strengthening of legal frame work to deal with such incidents and the resolve of some brave females to tackle the monstrous problem etc.
This book on paramilitary women, intended for a wide audience. At the turn of the decade of Eightees, women in India set out to change their own lives and to celebrate new powers and vistas achieved by them. It was during the decade of Eighties that for the first time in the post-Independence era, women’s participation in a paramilitary organization as combatants was institutionalized. Scholars, policy makers and enlightened intelligentsia treated that opportunity as watershed in women’s occupational history and experience.
Women were part of the military in the past, led resistances and situated themselves at the center of the military operations and militarized security system. Female combatants in a paramilitary system created a ripple and many questions emerged about women’s role in the public arena, which is largly controlled by men.
In seeking answers to such questions it was revealed that although vulnerable to institutional power, women were not without power in the private spaces and nor were they non-public entities. This necessitated an examination of women’s involvement in internal security system of nation not merely to understand how women negotiate in conflicts related to internal security of the country, but also to understand the gender based interpersonal conflicts in the organization itself.
The book uses the words and experiences of women in 88 Mahila Battalion- a unit of Central Reserve Police Force, a paramilitary organization. In a paramilitary organization, women are physically and often socially more isolated from the family/ relatives/ friends and from global fashions. Yet some set out to change their lives. Roles and personalities are not about abstractions but about real feelings/ aspirations/ commitments in real women and in real lives.
This book offers a scholarly study in the learning processes, I social structure and definition of tribals, rurals and urbans in Indian Society. Both in its range and depth of research, this book creates a sustained focus that is not presently available in the literature on learning societies in India.
The central theme in the book seeks to explain that India as a heterogeneous society embodies a large variety of people, cultures, languages and regional differences which present a curions kaleidoscopic pattern. No state today is completely homogeneous or heterogeneous. In fact a society with complete homogeneity or heterogeneity would represent a dreadful state of affairs. It would be a negation of all that is distinctively humane. The book mainly focuses on homogeneity.
One of the fundamental factors underlying the homogeneity is a common world view that all individuals reflect the same principle of cognitive consciousness to the extent of interchangeability. The book will be of immense interest to students, planners, policy makers, and activists interested in understanding the processes of social change. It throws light on the social transformation that has been taking place in Rajasthan.
This vital and, timely contribution, to an understanding of learning processes and patterns, having crucial role in sustaining a social structure, highlights the way in which different communities manage their survival and reconstruct their identities.
Learning Societies, Combatant Women and Violence Against Rural Women publishing rights with RBSA Publishers
Zenani Deordhi publishing rights with Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.