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Frayed History, A: The Journey of Cotton in India
Published by Oxford University Press
This book documents the history of cotton, its patterns of cultivation, the expanding use of hybrid varieties, and their consequences on the increasing distress of cotton growing farmers and weavers in India. It is a study aimed at documenting the history and politics of cotton in India and works towards making the story of the fabric relevant for the present and future generations.
This book documents the history of cotton, its patterns of cultivation, the expanding use of hybrid varieties, and their consequences on the increasing distress of cotton growing farmers and weavers in India. It takes a look at the changing trends in how cotton has been perceived and used. A comprehensive study of cotton farming, this book explores the loss of local varieties of cotton and cotton-weaving traditions. The authors argue that cotton growing and weaving cannot be understood in isolation from the forces of rapid economic globalization, and underline the neglect faced by the agricultural sector in the last few decades. They explain in detail how post economic liberalization of the 1990s, Indian cotton farmers became part of an unequal global economy, and what it has meant for people engaged in economic activities hinged on this ancient fabric in India. The book concludes with some pertinent questions on the future of the fabric and its ever changing use. A study aimed at documenting the history and politics of this fabric in India, it works towards making the story of cotton relevant for the present and future generations.
LIST OF FIGURES AND MAPS PREFACE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 1. WEBS OF WOVEN WIND: A WALK THROUGH THE HISTORY OF COTTON AND CLOTH IN INDIA 2. COTTON IN COLONIAL INDIA 3. FARM SUICIDES AND THE AGRARIAN CRISIS IN MAHARASHTRA 4. HOW THE GOVERNMENT FAILED THE FARMER 5. THE BT COTTON CONUNDRUM 6. WEAVING COTTON CLOTH ON THE HANDLOOM: STORIES OF COTTON WEAVING 7. THE MALKHA STORY 8. CONCLUSION: LOOKING TO THE FUTURE BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Meena Menon has been a journalist since 1984, was formerly associated with The Hindu. She has written extensively on socio-political issues including environment, development, and politics. She is the author of Riots and After in Mumbai (Sage 2012); Organic cotton: Reinventing the Wheel, Deccan Development Society and Kalpvriksh (2004), and The Unseen Worker with Sharmila Joshi, (Books for Change, 1998). She has also worked with Bombay Magazine, United News of India, Mid-day, and The Times of India. Uzramma is director of Malkha Marketing Trust. She is the founder of the non-profit research centre, Dastkar Andhra. She has been associated with the cotton textile industry of India since 1989. In 2005, she founded the Decentralized Cotton Yarn Trust with small-scale units to process cotton to yarn at field locations. She has been a member of policy groups for the handloom industry constituted by the Planning Commission and the PMO, and has participated in multiple seminars on cotton growing, weaving, and marketing.
Reviewer: Caleb Simmons
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