From kali to zubaan
From Kali To Zubaan
Kali was Urvashi's idea. Actively involved in the women's movement in India, and working professionally in a publishing house, she had come to feel that mainstream publishing paid scant attention to the issues that were being raised by the women's movement. The scant existing literature was mainly by western scholars who visited India for short or long periods and then wrote books that were then bought by Indians at expensive prices.
At the time, Ritu Menon, Kali's co-founder with Urvashi Butalia, was working in a mainstream publishing house and just beginning the process of publishing a small number of books on women. When she heard of Urvashi's plan to set up a feminist publishing house (already named Kali), she offered to join this enterprise. The two women left their jobs and teamed up to set up Kali for Women.
Within five years of its establishment, Kali had become self-sufficient. The founders followed a formula of keeping the overheads and prices low, publishing quality work, and ensuring that the content and the production quality of their publications met international standards.
Kali books began to make a mark in the world of publishing. Kali for Women became one of the most significant publishing houses within India and internationally. Its success was evident in the fact that in India, several mainstream publishing houses began to publish books on women.
Kali's list consisted of three distinct areas: academic and general books, fiction books and small pamphlets and booklets. The first were broadly meant for academics, researchers and some general readers, the second for a broader market, and the third to be used by NGOs, women's groups, and grassroots groups.
After nearly two decades of publishing and being trailblazers in creating a market for women, the two founders of Kali decided to set up their independent imprints.