Alternative Futures: India Unshackled
Now available for free download, at:
We are delighted to present a freely downloadable copy of Alternative Futures: India Unshackled, as
a full book as also as individual sections and chapters. This is to fulfil a commitment that we as
editors and our publishers Authors UpFront had made when the book was published in November
2017, to enable wider access to the book for those who cannot afford or for other reasons prefer not
to have a hard copy. The printed copy will of course continue also to be available.
This book is a unique collection of 35 essays on India’s future, by a diverse set of authors – activists,
researchers, mediapersons, those who have influenced policies and those working at the grassroots.
This book brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically
democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious.
Since its publication, the book has been received well in critical reviews, as also in various circles
where it has been noticed. A couple of universities have decided to put it into their recommended
readings for students of various subjects.
The book covers a wide range of issues, organized under four sections. It explores ecological futures
including environmental governance, biodiversity conservation, water and energy. Next, it envisions
political futures including those of democracy and power, law, ideology, and India’s role in the globe.
A number of essays then look at economic futures, including agriculture, pastoralism, industry, crafts,
villages and cities, localization, markets, transportation and technology. Finally, it explores socio-
cultural futures, encompassing languages, learning and education, knowledge, health, sexuality and
gender, and marginalized sections like dalits, adivasis, and religious minorities. Introductory and
concluding essays tie these diverse visions together. Most essays include both futuristic scenarios and
present initiatives that demonstrate the possibility of such futures.
We hope that the book’s online, free availability will substantially enhance its accessibility. Please
note that the book is published under Creative Commons licence, which means you can download,
print, disseminate, copy as you like, as also use material from the text in ways you feel appropriate,
with due credit. There is no need to take permission from the editors or authors!
There is however one earnest request. If you do download, it would be nice if you put in a comment
on why you are doing so, and how you intend using it. Additionally, we’d love to receive your
comments on the content, and on how (or if!) you have found it useful once you do start using it.
You can email one or both of us.
Ashish Kothari (firstname.lastname@example.org) and KJ Joy (email@example.com)
Editors, Alternative Futures: India Unshackled