ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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EPW: A Habit of Sorts


My first acquaintance with the Economic & Political Weekly (EPW) was in the late 1960s as a postgraduate student at Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam. My teacher in the Department of English, M S Prabhakar, had introduced me to the journal. Ever since, I have been a regular subscriber of the EPW, counting 45 years and more. During the Emergency period, when some of us were imprisoned under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA), 1971, every single issue of the EPW smuggled into the jail proved to be our lifeline. It was during this period itself that M S Prabhakar left his university job and joined the editorial staff of the journal. This move further strengthened our links with the EPW. Following the end of the Emergency, I wrote my first piece for the EPW which was published in the 14 May 1977 issue titled “Portrait of a Naga ‘Hostile.’” It was based on my interaction with the Naga National Council leader Imkongmeren Ao who happened to be a co-prisoner in the Nowgong Special Jail, Nagaon, Assam.

This marked the beginning of a new relationship with EPW. I had graduated from being an avid reader of the journal to being one of its contributors. Krishna Raj, who would write to me in his inimitable style to commission articles on the north-eastern region, became a friend. I still treasure his letters typed out in ­inland letter forms. During one of our visits to Bombay in the post-Emergency days, a visit to the EPW office at Frere Road, Mumbai was like a pilgrimage for my wife Tilottoma and me, as we were fortunate to spend quite some time with Raj, Prabhakar and others of the EPW family. The journal opened up a new world for us and we eagerly looked forward to each issue which came to us by post. If a certain issue failed to arrive, Krishna Raj would promptly replace it, when informed. It was through the EPW that we came in touch with so many of the leading intellectual figures of the country as well as outside. Moreover, we also made plenty of friends from amongst the EPW fraternity. Following Raj’s demise, Rammanohar Reddy took great care to keep the EPW spirit alive and continued to nourish the journal’s link with its large body of subscribers and contributors worldwide. Today, the bound volumes of the journal which occupy pride of place in our small library at home, keep remi­n­ding us of those momentous days of
the 1970s and 1980s and of a relationship that has survived and grown for half a century now.

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Updated On : 17th Aug, 2017
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