A book having different covers for different countries is a common practice, but more often than not, it is just the design that differs. However, William Dalrymple’s latest book The Anarchy has put forth an unusual instance where not only does the cover for India and UK differ but even the subtitles on them are different.
The same was shared by a Twitter user recently which showed that while on the Indian edition it reads, The Anarchy, The East India Company, Corporate Violence, And The Pillage of Empire, the UK cover says The Anarchy. The Relentless Rise Of The East India Company. Even the illustration varies. In the Indian edition, the cover has the image of conflict, while in the UK edition it has been replaced with a placid sketch of four soldiers standing.
Guess which one’s the UK edition? 🙄 pic.twitter.com/noo21yW88z
— Nikhil നിഖിൽ 🇮🇳 (@nikhilnarayanan) September 15, 2019
As the title suggests, Dalrymple’s latest work is an expansive and comprehensive depiction of the East India Company, the way it was formed, operated and the relation it shared with the State. Placed within this context, the difference in the title seems to suggest the different ways in which the book is trying to cater to the Colonised and the Coloniser’s gazes.
People on social media were quick to react, some expressing their surprise while others calling it out for its double-standardness. Indianexpress.com has reached out to both the publishing house and the author. They are yet to react to this.