List price: $29.99

Midnight’s Borders

A People's History of Modern India

The first true people’s history of modern India, told through a seven year, 9,000 mile journey across its many contested borders.

Sharing borders with six countries and spanning a geography that extends from Pakistan to Myanmar, India is the world’s largest democracy and second most populous country. Yet most of us don’t understand it, or the violent history still playing out there. In fact, India as we know it didn’t exist until the map of the subcontinent was redrawn in the middle of the 20th century–the powerful repercussions of which are still being felt across South Asia.

To tell the story of political borders in the subcontinent, Suchitra Vijayan spent seven years travelling India’s 9,000-mile land border. Now, in this stunning work of narrative reportage, she shares what she learned on that groundbreaking journey. With profound empathy and a novelistic eye for detail, Vijayan shows us the forgotten people and places in the borderlands and brings us face-to-face with the legacy of colonialism and the stain of extreme violence and corruption. The result is the ground-level portrait of modern India we’ve been missing.

Suchitra Vijayan was born and raised in India, received her higher education in law at the University of Leeds in England, and now lives in New York. She earned her master’s in international relations at Yale, for which she embedded with the ISAF forces-172 infantry brigade in Afghanistan to conduct research on counterinsurgency practices. Her essays have appeared in The HinduForeign PolicyGQ,The Boston Review and Huffington Post Magazine. As a Barrister, Vijayan was called to Bar at the Honourable Society of Inner Temple–one of the four prestigious Inns of Court in London, and the same Inn that a number of the major political leaders of South Asia (including Gandhi and Nehru) belonged to. She worked for the United Nations war crimes tribunals in Yugoslavia and Rwanda before co-founding the Resettlement Legal Aid Project in Cairo, which serves Iraqi refugees. In the fall of 2017, Vijayan founded The Polis Project, a collective of scholars, artists, and activists publishing research and fostering public discussion about war, conflict, post-colonial spaces, and militarization. The project launched a lecture series and is working on an open source database about political violence in South Asia.