Thiruvananthapuram: Dr Antony Palackal carries with him two big books weighing nearly five kg and running into 1425 pages.
Introduction to Kerala Studies has covered all major aspects of Kerala, he says, opening the colourful pages describing the history, culture, people and animals, politics, and practices of the state.
The book, written by 106 people around the world, was released in New York, Dubai and Singapore. Dr Antony, who works at the Loyola College of Social Sciences, Thiruvananthap-uram, is one of the editors of the book.
“The idea came about during a global meet of the World Malayali Council in Singapore in 2008. Everyo-ne felt there was no authorised book on Kerala for a third-generation Malayali child placed outside India. It is important to learn about your roots.
Dr Sunny Luke and Alex Koshy (of International Institute for Scientific and Academic Collaboration, New Jersey), who were present at the meeting, agreed to put together a book that could serve as a reference for academic purposes,” he says.
Sunny found Dr Antony on the internet when he searched for a social scientist. Former Vice Chanc-ellor of Kerala University, J.V. Vilanilam, was also roped in. The three put together 87 chapters under 13 sections. “There are topics for both beginners as well as for those who need to do advanced researches on Kerala.”
The book intended for college undergraduates is a publication of the IISAC. Among the 106 writers, two dozen are Malayalis living abroad. “There are non-Malayalis too like James Oberey, an American who came to stay in Kerala and write a book. He wrote about Kerala culture.”
Shashi Tharoor has written the first chapter, academician Rajasekharan Pillai wrote the foreword and Babu Paul IAS wrote the introduction.