Hilal Ahmed
Power, Memory, Architecture by Richard M. Eaton Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2015, 396 pp., 1250
February 2015, volume 39, No 2

To understand the wider intellectual-political significance of this theoretically nuanced and methodologically sophisticated study of the Deccan’s past, one has to have recourse to a rather precise and systematic interpretive framework. For this obvious reason, the thematic concerns, the conceptual structure, methodological strategies (including the highly innovative use of technology for fieldwork) and the historically informed comments made by the authors on contemporary debates, could be recognized as the possible reference points for engaging with this book.
This plausible interpretative reframing, in my view, introduces us to the three broad objectives of the study: (a) how to situate regional centers as the relevant vantage points to study the discourse of Deccan’s past? (b) How to re-envisage historic architecture as a source to trace the historical imaginations of the ‘memory communities’, which inherited it, imbibed it and reused it in a number of ways? (c) How to employ the Sanskrit and the Persian literary traditions (instead of Hindu and Muslim encounter) for getting into the conceptual universe of Deccani politics?

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