ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Treasure House

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I first discovered the EPW during the Emergency years. I had come to Bombay, as Mumbai was called then, in February 1976 having lived more or less continuously in the United Kingdom (UK) from 1964 onwards. I completed my A levels and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Statistics from the UK, before settling down to a changing variety of wage-earning jobs that took care of my material needs. I was part of a small group of young people of South Asian origin—Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans and Indians—living there and active on two fronts; solidarity work vis-à-vis repressive regimes’ behaviour in South Asian coun­tries, and in anti-racist struggles in the UK. After the Emergency was declared in India in June 1975, among our other activities in the UK, the Campaign for the Release of Indian Political Prisoners was set up. It was partly to further that work as well as to learn first-hand about the situation in India that I came to Bombay in early 1976.

It was then that I first came acrossEPW and ever since have remained an ardent admirer of this remarkable and courageous journal. After the general elections of 1977, which put an end to the Emergency, I returned to the UK to earn enough money to come back for good in April 1978. I joined the Times of India in November that year as an assistant editor. It must have been shortly afterwards that I became a permanent subscriber to EPW’s print edition, since it is from 1979 onwards that I accumulated all the issues (barring the odd one or two missing in some years), which have been carefully hardbound so as to preserve them. There is a 10 ft by 5 ft wooden book case filled only with these EPW issues. My older son, who is also a great admirer of EPW, but born in the age of computers, smartphones and Kindles, tells me to give away my EPW “archives” to some library or institution since it is much easier (and frees up space) to access past issues and select articles online. But there is no way I am going to do that. These memory-filled print copies will remain “till death us do part!”

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Updated On : 12th Jan, 2017

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