University of KwaZulu-Natal, 01.12.2022
It gives me great pleasure to present our readers with the December 2022 issue of Nidān: International Journal for Indian Studies. As usual, we bring you a rich array of original academic contributions, reviews and presentations that I am sure, will make for enjoyable reading and excellent reference material. Before proceeding to the contributions, there are one or two questions I would like to answer—questions that often come up in conversations about Nidān. What is the purpose of our ‘book presentation’ section? Why would some of our reviewers want to additionally interview authors, when other journals do not do the same? The answer is two-fold. The first part of the explanation is linked to the time-frame in which I inherited the editorship of Nidan in 2021. While I had earlier worked with Professor P. Pratap Kumar; 2020 was already the first year of the COVID pandemic. It was a time when scholars were apprehensive about physical contact—a time when all research endeavours languished: fieldwork, library and archival visits. This standstill continued in 2021, and has lingered on in 2022, at least in pockets, as scholars struggle to recalibrate research goals while keeping in mind their changed situations. Even though COVID has somewhat abated, ambivalence about research spending and traveling has become a prolonged concern due to allied reasons: an energy crises accompanied by a looming recession in 2023, as we continue to struggle with gaining consensus on what constitutes ‘moderation’ in our times: generosity and participation, with a premium on self-preservation combined with ecological protection.