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This collection of essays fills the need for a comprehensive book on disability studies in South Asia. Covering a range of topics from the history of disability activism to philosophical and cultural issues in relationship to the disabled body and mind, the book has a strong through-line of calling for greater attention to disability and promoting a biopolitical approach to a previously disregarded group of people who make up a fifth of the population.
I have known Anita Ghai for over two decades now. She is one of the most fiery and outspoken advocates we have in the Indian disability movement. She has dedicated her life to creating a body of knowledge that speaks of her commitment to the cause of disability in general, and women and girls with disabilities in particular. This is an exemplary contribution in a scenario where scholarship on disability issues is just not there. Her latest work, Disability in South Asia: Knowledge and Experience, is another such effort in this direction.
Anita Ghai has orchestrated a collection that will enrich disability studies scholarship everywhere, bringing forward a wonderful variety of work from, and about, South Asia. This collection represents new engagements with various impairment experiences while theorizing powerful colonial systems of knowing. A must-read Disability in South Asia revolutionizes the connections between disability studies in the Global South and in the Global North by enacting a vital promise to nurture scholars and activists in a re-examination of the meaning of disability.
Disability in South Asia is an essential text that captures a crucial moment in time of the development of critical disability studies—a time when the dominance of Western European and North American disability theory is contested and replaced instead with new forms of critical thinking and activism.
This book has brought together writers on disability whose activism and theorizing are integral to each other as they capture the multiplicity of arenas in which activists and scholars are engaging. A collection of powerful statements on disability with great insights, it sets before us a line of serious enquiry. It is a book sorely needed and inspiring and will be a rare resource for every disability studies classroom and on the reading list of disability organizations and activists.
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