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Westland Books Launches Audacious Hope By Indrajit Roy

A must-read account of the efforts by Indian citizens to resist the tools of authoritarianism

Audacious Hope is a careful, rigorous archive of struggles, including the protests that united farmers across state borders in 2020 and the national outcry following the controversial CAA legislation. From the myriad ways people came to the aid of their fellow citizens during the pandemic to the testing of free-speech boundaries by cultural activists, this book undertakes the task of documenting resistance in its many forms.

Westland Books announced the release of its political non-fiction titled Audacious Hope: An Archive of How Democracy Is Being Saved in India authored by political researcher and professor Indrajit Roy. The book is an archive of efforts by citizens in India to resist the tools of authoritarianism being deployed in present-day India. The book also documents major protests in the country over the last few decades. Audacious Hope is published by Westland Non-Fiction, an imprint of Westland Books, and is slated to release on 12 February 2024. 

Catering to academicians, students, scholars, researchers and anyone curious about the political situation of the country, the book talks about, among other things, the 2020 Farmers Protest, which united farmers across state borders and the national outcry in response to the controversial CAA legislation, as well as anti-caste struggles and artistic responses to the crisis India is today faced with. The book also depicts numerous ways how citizens came to aid each other during the pandemic along with the testing of free-speech boundaries by cultural activists.

Speaking on the launch of his book, political researcher & author Indrajit Roy said, “Few can doubt that India’s democracy faces an existential threat today. But ordinary Indians- farmers, students, workers, lawyers, doctors, and activists- are resisting the erosion of our beloved democracy. Troubled times invite despair, but the manifold efforts of Indians striving to defend their democracy shows that hope is not lost. Chronicling their efforts is essential to building an archive of how democracy may yet be saved in India and beyond." Westland’s Ajitha GS said, “Indrajit Roy's book is an important archival project that serves two purposes: to remind us of the challenges that continue to lie ahead and to tell us that there is always hope. We are delighted to be able to publish this book in our research- and narrative-driven Westland Non-Fiction list.”

About the Book

As the pillars of democracy crumble across the globe, big and small actions of resistance prop up hope and keep alive a way to rebuild. In the past few decades, ordinary folk in India have stood up to repressive state authority over and over again. Their vital acts of hope preserve the collective spirit of resistance and unwavering resilience necessary to continue the fight for democracy. Audacious Hope is a careful, rigorous archive of these struggles, including the protests that united farmers across state borders in 2020 and the national outcry following the controversial CAA legislation. From the myriad ways people came to the aid of their fellow citizens during the pandemic to the testing of free-speech boundaries by cultural activists, This book undertakes the task of documenting resistance in its many forms.

Roy challenges the reader with his account of how proud people are battling to save their beloved democracy. The question is, how can we, through individual and collective action, resist authoritarianism, casteism and majoritarianism? The answer is, of course, through the audacity of hope.

About the Author

Indrajit Roy is Professor of Global Development Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of York. He specialises in the study of Indian politics in comparative and historical perspectives. Roy is co- editor of the Cambridge Companion to Indian Politics and Society, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2024. He holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford.


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