The Book Cover
Released on 3rd October 2011

Available at all leading book stalls.


Pre-Publication Peer Review:

Going through the manuscript was highly informative for a person like me, who is not from the field of sociology, history, anthropology, but from a field of law interested in looking to the issues of children through the prism of law and changing policies of the government to keep child law in conformity with international conventions, policies and declarations etc.

The work definitely contributes to the scholarship of Indian childhood, as perceived before partition, at the time of partition and after partition. To grapple with the complicated issues on the custody of child arising after partition, became a challenging task for political leaders and social workers. The author has convincingly narrated the view points all concerned to the welfare of children born to the mothers after their abduction either in Pakistan or in India. The book has dealt with all policies and the legislations on children since independence till day.

---- Extracted from the reader report

General Interest Publications:

Alienation of Chacha Review by Sreelatha Menon in Business Standard on January 9, 2012

The book asks for viewing the child, not just as a category, based on age and family situation, but within the political and social context.Read more of this review

Review in The Telegraph on December 16, 2011

Balakrishnan analyses competing discourses and their implications.She leaves readers to judge whether Thomas Hobbes's model of the 'minimalist' State or Hugo Grotius' model of the interventionist/paternalistic State as an embodiment of 'collective responsibility' is more viable in defining the child-State relationship in contemporary India. Read more of this review

Review in The Hindu on December 20, 2011

Academic Journals:

By Dr.Vasanthi Raman, New Delhi

This is possibly the only book that traces the narratives and discourses on Indian childhood from partition and beyond. In recent times, particularly since the near universal ratification of the UNCRC, there has been a fair amount of policy attention on the child and also growing academic interest in childhood studies in India. But this has not been preceded by any discussion of past policy or any serious analysis of institutional initiatives taken in the past. The book under review fills an important lacuna in this regard.Read more of this review

Contributions to Indian Sociology 2013 - Review by Shanti George

The remarkable feat of Balakrishnan's book is to sketch a meta-narrative of policitcal discourses about children and childhood, across the sub-continental expanse of India, from the late colonial period through Independence to the early 21st Century.Readers, both inside and outside the country, who have been led to believe that debates on children and their rights are largely Euro-American in origin and momentum, will now have evidence and case to remonstrate that in other parts of the world too, policitcal discourses have address critical issues about children and childhood..Read more of this review