Braj Ranjan Mani is the author of Debrahmanising History: Dominance and Resistance in Indian Society (2005). His latest major work is Knowledge and Power: A Discourse for Transformation (2014). Mani is a maverick non-institutional scholar, and he writes on a range of sociocultural issues from the perspective of the marginalized.
In Knowledge and Power, Braj Ranjan Mani tries to comprehend the formation of a world with one million millionaires and one billion hungry children, and asks what went wrong: why do we in the twenty-first century continue to grapple with large-scale injustice, even as knowledge grows to dizzying heights with technology and democracy to disseminate it? Critiquing existing knowledge, power, and social relationships, he renews the debate on fundamental issues and points to the way for a perspective that can enable the reader to ask the right questions and seek answers outside the old and failed frameworks.
The volume probes the politics and duality of the intellectual world in which an elite has appropriated knowledge, much like power and wealth. Bringing to light the hidden agenda and hidden curriculum, it uncovers the dominant canons and constructs that distort the vision for a more humane world. As the ruling class remains hypocritical in its dealing with the core issues that divide and bleed humanity, this work interrogates the current state of democracy and capitalism and shows that the traditional structures of hierarchy have morphed into new matrix of power which reproduces caste, class, gender, and other exclusionary categories.
This work seeks alternatives and strives to lay a foundation for a liberating intellectual struggle: a struggle over how history shall be grasped and presented; a struggle to identify the regressive and progressive elements of knowledge; a struggle over the appropriation of values, cognitions and symbols. It sees critical education as the locomotive of change, and stresses the need of self-criticism and inner transformation alongside a broader politics and social action for reconstruction.
An out-of-the-box bibliography features a wide range of radical and emancipatory resources to help generate thoughts and perspectives for transformation.
Knowledge and Power: A Discourse for Transformation is available for Rs. 450 at all online/offline book stores; published by Manohar Publishers & Distributors, 4753/23, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110002