Stree and Samya are two imprints of Bhatkal and Sen, a joint partnership of the Bhatkals of Popular Prakashan and Mandira Sen. Founded in 1990, Stree publishes on gender studies, focusing on the status of women in India, in English and in Bengali. It publishes on the workplace, class relations and political subjection, marriage, the family, the impact of religion, culture and ideology. It translates women’s writings, fiction and nonfiction, from the Indian languages into English. Samya, founded in 1996, focuses on culture and dissent, which gives priority to the study of caste in a changing society, through scholarly analysis, its place in the creation of knowledge, and the writings of dalits.
As a leading independent publisher, we primarily focus on publishing knowledge generated in India, which is then also distributed abroad, or sometimes presented as a co-edition with a western publisher. A tremendous effort has been undertaken to develop new authors and to showcase their work in high quality editions that reflect the best editorial and production skills available in India. Our books compete with the best books in international publishing. We have bought very few books from scholarly publishers abroad, which may have slowed our growth, but we believe it has been worth it.
Both imprints are always on the look out to publish in new areas, and new authors, often making pioneering contributions. We were the first to publish the radical social justice scholar Kancha Ilaiah (Why I Am Not a Hindu: A Sudra Critique of Hindutva Culture, Philosophy and Political Economy), and his books published by us remain landmark books. Similarly, we have published accounts of the Partition in the eastern region in English, bringing what had resonated in Bengali within the region, to a wider audience. The work of many of our authors like, Omprakash Valmiki and Thirumaavalan had not appeared in English before we published them. We give importance to publishing translations from the Indian languages into English, in fiction and nonfiction, to present a greater exchange between the languages.