Authority and Kingship under the Sultans of Delhi is rather complex in the sense that it begins on a promising note but does not achieve all. Reinforcing the thesis of centralization, the main crux of the argument—the Sultanate represented a centralized polity that was further embarked upon with a vengeance in the sixteenth century—remains the same like that of A.B.M. Habibullah, K.A. Nizami, Irfan Habib and others, though the author expresses disagreements with them (which of course is refreshing) on certain facts and interpretations.
This selection of K.N. Panikkar’s articles published between 1976 and 2005 not only brings together in one place, the writings of a major modern Indian social historian, but also serves as a historiographical record of the changing concerns of Marxist social history over the last three decades.
The bitter resistance to Government’s attempt to introduce an adolescent education programme is symptomatic of the need to control and domesticate sexuality cordoning it off into the haven of community and tradition secure from the whirlwinds of globalizing influences.
Two decades ago governments looked askance, with suspicion or even with downright hostility at any attempt to introduce non-traditional security concepts into the national agenda; this was especially so in regard to the efforts of academics, think-tanks and NGO’s, which had begun around that time.
John Kenneth Galbraith once said, ‘Under capitalism, man exploits man; under communism, it’s just the opposite’. The capitalism versus communism debate is as old as politics itself. In India, it much precedes independence from British rule. It is, thus, difficult to understand the conceptually colonial precincts that modern Indian communism’s arguments find anchor with.
If the state is what ‘binds’, it is also clearly what can and does unbind. And if the state binds in the name of the nation, conjuring a certain version of the nation forcibly, if not powerfully, then it also unbinds, releases, expels, banishes . . . it expels precisely through an exercise of power that depends upon barriers and prisons and, so, in the mode of a certain containment. . .
Where Robin Jeffrey’s pioneering study—India’s Newspaper Revolution, left off, Sevanti Ninan’s Headlines from the Heartland, picks up the discursive narrative of the explosion of print capitalism in what was once the lagging Hindi language belt and its socio-political impact in the constitution of localized publics with mixed democratic consequences.
Terrifying Vision is a slim little book on the ideas of the most visible ideologue of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Its author had earlier explored and written on the world and moods of four well-known makers of the Hindutva ideology (Hindutva: Exploring the Idea of Hindu Nationalism (2003).
India has been in the thick of a revolution of rising expectations, visible more sharply for more than two decades. I believe that the new middle class, as is generally defined, is the by-product of high expectations thrown up by changing domestic opportunities and the atmosphere of liberalization generated by new forces of globalization at home and abroad.
Nandini Nayar, whose earlier book for children, Pranav’s Picture, dealt with a child’s imaginary drawings, uses a different medium of expression used by children all over the world this time around, namely dough. While in the West, play dough or plasticine (as it used to be called in India some generations ago) is the chosen material for children to make shapes and get their tactile senses fine tuned, in India,