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Farms, Feasts, Famines

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(Vol 26 No 2)
Farms, Feasts, Famines

If we are what we eat, then we are also how we eat and where we eat ‒ the cuisines, tastes, utensils and seating arrangements define us as much as what goes into our stomachs. In Southasia this presents a rich, complex and
often bewildering multiplicity that has much in common and much that is diverse. The ‘curry’ that exists only for the foreigner entirely misses the sharp contrasts in tastes between the malaikofta of Jalandhar and the sambhar of
Mysore. Yet a Peshawari kebab is as much a delicacy in the bylanes of Delhi as it is in Peshawar. Taste buds defy the sundering of borders and partitions.
Unfortunately our region is defi ned now not just by the what, where and how of what we eat but also the who. Despite the richness of our soils, the diversity of seeds, the plentitude of water and the versatility of agricultural techniques and adaptability, Southasia continues to fail the bulk of its citizens, who remain hungry, underfed and under-nourished. This new quarterly explores these issues through a wide range of perspectives from the Maldives to Nepal, from Sri Lanka to Bangladesh.

Deepankar Basu and Debarshi Das on cash transfers and leadership in India
Deepak Adhikari on Fast Food in Nepal
Anita Roy on Taste
Vidyadhar Gadgil’s Pignama
Tharuka Dissanaike on politics of Food in Sri Lanka
Mridula Koshi’s fi ction
Ahilan Kadirgamar reviews Daniel’s Bass on Up-country Tamils
Taran Khan looks at filming Afghanistan
MV Ramana reviews Abha Sur on the caste and class of Indian science
Elen Turner reviews William Dalrymple on the fi rst Anglo-Afghan War
Pradip Phanjoubam drives from Manipur to Myanmar

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