The idea of the village has been central throughout Indian history. Since colonial times, Indian villages have been pictured as “small republics” and as a relevant microcosm for understanding Indian society at large. Combining the issue of representation with that of rurality, this special issue investigates the actors, be they external or internal to rural society, who claim to represent the “village,” and how its internal social differentiation is being addressed: who does speak for/about/of/against/with the village? The different aspects of the representations and practices of the “rural” and its social components, contributing to the social production of rural space, are herein studied from a range of different disciplinary perspectives, such as history, political science, sociology, anthropology, and literary studies/theory. At last, the purpose of this issue is to reassert village and rural studies as a legitimate and crucial area of research through which to understand the important social, economic, political and cultural dynamics and tensions which mark the trajectory of Indian society over time.