Look Inside

Indira Bai The Triumph of Truth and Virtue

FREE Delivery
Express Shipping
Express Shipping: Guaranteed Dispatch in 24 hours
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: HAR907
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2019
ISBN: 9780199492855
Pages: 264
Other Details 8.5x5.5 inch
Weight 260 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
About the Author and Translators


Gulvadi Venkata Rao (1844-1913) is acknowledged as the first Kannada novelist who wrote on social issues. While he also authored three other novels, including Bhagirathi (1900) and Seemantini (1907), it was Indira Bai that brought him into the limelight. Born in Kundapura, South Canara, Karnataka, India, he completed his education from Mangalore and Madras, India, and he later served as an officer in the police department. The author hailed from the pro- gressive Saraswat community, which provided the immediate context for social critique in his novels.


Vanamala Viswanatha has taught English language and literature for over four decades in premiere institutions in Bengaluru, Kamataka, India, including the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore University, and Azim Premji University. She was also honorary secretary at the Centre for Translation, Sahitya Akademi, Bengaluru. Vanamala has translated and introduced eminent Kannada writers such as U.R. Ananthamurthy, P. Lankesh, Vaidehi, and Sara Aboobacker. Her translation of the medieval Kannada ex, The Life of Harishchandra (2017), in the Murty Classical Library of India Series, is an important landmark in the translation f Kannada classics into English.

Shivarama Padikkal teaches at the Centre for Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies (CALTS), University of Hyderabad, Telangana, India. His research interests include modern Kannada literature, translation studies, and cultural studies. His Kannada book on nation, modernity, and the rise of the Kannada novel, Naadu-Nudiya Roopaka (2001), is highly acclaimed. He has co-edited Suniti Kumar Chatterji: A Centenary Tribute (1997) and co-translated Sara Aboobacker's Kannada novel into Marathi (Chandragiriche Tiranar, 1991).


Gulvadi Venkata Rao's Indira Bai (1899), the first social novel in Kannada, is also significant as the first cultural chronicle of the radical shifts in the political, economic, and educational scene of coastal Karnataka in the second half of the nineteenth century. Indira Bai was first among the novels of the time that relate the story of how religions, castes, and communities in the region recast their identities in reaction to the colonial hegemony of Europe over the cultural and political ethos of the country.

Coastal Karnataka (Canara), which came under the direct rule of the British in 1799, when Thomas Munroe was the collector, continued to be under colonial rule until 1947, when Collector Saunders was at the helm. The vast region of Canara was divided into North and South Canara in 1859, even though the two regions continued to enjoy the same cultural relations.

When the Basel Mission of Germany chose the Canara region for its evangelical activities, Hebich, Lehner, and Greiner arrived in Mangaluru in 1834. They established a vernacular school and a Christian seminary in 1836. As part of their mission, they translated Christian theological texts into Kannada, established the Basel Mission Press, and published them in Mangaluru. Along with religious texts, they also published books on new areas of knowledge such as science, geography, history, and biology, and started teaching them in schools. These activities went hand in hand with conversions of the local populace to Christianity.


Published in 1899, Gulvadi Venkata Rao's Indira Bai is a text of social history that marks the cusp of wide-ranging transformations that took place in the ineluctable encounter between the Kannada social world and colonial modernity. Acknowledged as the first independent social novel in Kannada, Indira Bai is a tract of local history that chronicles the changes that rocked the Saraswat Brahman com- munity in the erstwhile South Canara region of Karnataka. Equally, the novel is a narrative of the nation that reflects the pan-Indian churning provoked by the social reform movement, which had focussed on the women's question in a major way. However, Indira Bai is not merely a text of social history. Viewed as a product of "transculturation" located in the colonial "contact zone" that triggered a tussle between traditional Hindu practices and the modern, Western ethos, Indira Bai actively participates, as do many other first novels in Indian languages such as Indulekha, in the fashioning of a new, secular self in an emerging modern national culture that was non-Western. Reading this text through a new translation in English has a renewed significance now, when local cultures in India have had to recast their identities again in the face of a globalizing world.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at [email protected]
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through [email protected].
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy