The Lal Masjid episode in the first week of July this year in Islamabad is the culmination of the policies pursued by the establishment in Pakistan during the last several decades and they are the subject of the book under review.
South Asian Islam has a unique and fascinating history. Quite unlike many other places in the globe that came under Islamic influences the multicultural and plurilinguistic tapestry of South Asia made it necessary for Islam to negotiate and often cohabit with a host of local customs and traditions which gave the religion a special complexion and a special flavour.
Of late, there has indeed been a discernible intellectual ques- tioning of certitudes and the present work, it is only fair to say, contributes quite splendidly to that project. Its first intention is to cast doubt upon commonly accepted constructs like ‘Eastern Philosophy’ for, arguably, there is no one such thing that would qualify as such.
Abeysekera has given us a cogent political anthropological study of postcolonial ideological formations in the guise of an anthropology of religion in Sri Lanka. He explores these formations in chapters on the relation of theories of religion
Contemporary writings have enormously widened and enriched the field of ‘Partition Studies’, shifting the focus away from the politics of the ‘high table’ to subaltern perspectives, from meta-narratives to the regions partitioned and from attention to the causes of partition to concern about its human consequences.
Seven of the nine contributions to this collection of essays were presented as papers at a workshop held in Oxford in 2004, sponsored by the Coventry University South Asian Studies Centre and Balliol College, University of Oxford. Editor Ian Talbot
Anthony Low in dramatic syntax announces in his fore- word that the academic world of post-1947 Indian subconti- nent was dominated by political ‘scientists’, while historians only dealt with events happening prior to that year.
The Muslims after the Indian Mutiny ceased to be the country’s ruling class and became one of the many minority communities. It was not only a change of status in political and social standing but the new rulers of the country also distrusted the community under the mistaken belief of it being the perpetrator of the armed convulsions in 1857 against the growing might of the East India Company.
If you want to understand the background to the recent brouhaha over the admission policy of St Stephen’s College, here is the book for you. Contributors to this volume—all eminent legal experts, scholars, judges, administrators, and educationists—weigh in with their analyses of what plagues minority education in South Asia.
More than three decades back feminist historio- graphy had suggested that the devaluation of women in mainstream writings was connected to their exclusion from the public sphere and their identification with the domestic.
In 1996 William Pinch offered us a brand new insight into the peasant societies of Gangetic north India. In his hugely influential book, Peasants and Monks in British India, he showed us how religion in its non-denominational sense defined peasant action in colonial India.
The first thing that strikes one about this collection is that the essays represented in it were not written sitting in libraries. It is quite clearly not a historical or sociological perspective on women ‘breaking away’ from conventional paths.
This book belongs to an emergent genre of scholarship that has come to represent the latest, most prominent face of South Asian cultural studies. The main concern of the genre has been with the popular public cultures that have shaped the complex histories of modernity and nationalism in 19th and 20th century India,
The Elephant and the Maruti is a collection of six stories, three set in Delhi, the other three se: in Bangalore, Puranduru, and Geneva. While diverse in their geographical locations the common underlying thread that links them all is the sense of smell, a theme that still seems a favourite with the author of the promising debut novel called, what else but, Smell.
M.Krishnan (1912–1996) started writing in the nineteen thirties, when he was working in Madras and later at the durbar of the princely state of Sandur in Karnataka. After Independence, spurning an offer to be absorbed into the civil services, he decided to make a living through writing and photography; only then did he switch over to English.
Wandering through the pages of this book is almost like wandering across the candle-lit, music-soaked lawn at one of Bhaichand Patel’s parties (among the best Delhi parties I have been to and to which Jug and I shamelessly cadge invitations by phoning up Bhaichand and demanding to know why our invite hasn’t reached us yet).
There are some interviews in the appen- dices to the novel in which Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells us what led to the writing of her second novel Half of a Yellow Sun. She grew up, she says,
It draws substantially from the often read works of Brunton, Osborne and Godman, to create a collage of the very interesting and well loved life of Sri Ramana Maharashi of Tiruvannamalai. As someone who has been writing of Sri Ramana since 1995, I found in this book the work of a kindred spirit, someone who loves Ramana, and appropriates him for his own.
This is an interesting volume of essays, though not all of it relates to the 21st century or the Indian media. As all anthologies, the content is uneven and not necessarily connected. Nevertheless it has some interesting material and insights and makes a nice introduction to issues of contemporary journalism for the young professional and lay reader.
Technological changes in agriculture and intensive use of groundwater led to a spurt in water exchange for irrigation in many locations in India. Dense groundwater exchange markets developed in the early 1980s in regions, which were suitable for sinking deep tubewells leading to debates over its nature and way of functioning.