The Republic of Hindi Pocket Books: Lecture by Gautam Choubey

Gautam Choubey delivered a lecture on ‘The Republic of Hindi Pocket Books (1950s to 1980s)’. It was chaired by Baidik Bhattacharya. 


The nationalist movement shaped India’s reading culture. Habits of reading, buying, circulation and editing were anchored to the exigencies of the anti-colonial struggle. However, post independence, nationalism had to be imbued with a new epoch-making/anachronistic charge. India’s reading public, too, had to re-orient itself, seeking new associations with print that were driven by questions of usefulness, affordability and entertainment. The lecture will focus on the emergence of Hindi pocket book movement in the late 1950s—both through its material dimensions and its larger ‘vision’ for modern India.

Gautam Choubey is a Delhi-based academic and translator. He teaches English at ARSD College. His translations include Pandey Kapil’s Bhojpuri historical fiction Phoolsunghi (Penguin) and Andre Beitelle’s Democracy and its Institutions (OUP) and Twelfth Fail (Harper Collins). Presently, he is finalising a monograph, which probes Gandhi’s presence in the colonial Hindi public sphere.

Baidik Bhattacharya is Associate Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Thursday, 28 July 2022, 4.30 pm, Seminar Room and Zoom