Reassessing the World of Sher Shah Suri

In the opening line of his new history of the Indo-Afghans, Raziuddin Aquil complains that ‘the study of medieval Indian history suffers from what is characterized as Mughal centrism’ (p. 1). He is right at a number of levels, for the problem is not only that the imperial Mughal behemoth has captured the lion’s share of modern historians’ attention, but also that most of the Persian histories of the Indo-Afghans were written during the reign of the Mughals.

An Indo-Muslim Tradition

The robust and adaptive medical traditions of Tibb-i Unani have contained complex and changing meanings and practices over time. Seema Alavi’s extensive research, including into the oral traditions of her own distinguished Azizi family of hakims based in Lucknow, informs her sophisticated social and cultural history of Unani in north India from the time of the Mughal empire through the British Raj.

Aryans and Ancient Indian History

At the heart of the book are two masterly surveys of the issues at stake in the interpretation of the available linguistic and archaeological evidence. J.M. Kenoyer brings his reputation as one of the most accomplished Harappan archaeologists of his generation and crafts a measured piece documenting what archaeological reason can illuminate and equally demonstrate what constitutes inappropriate questions for the discipline.

Multiple Facets of Conservation Practices

In theory, the word ‘conservation’ brings to mind a science requiring careful knowledge of ecological principles for the preservation, protection and restoration of human-impacted landscapes. In practice, it has also become a contentious stage for debate, where politics – local, national and global – engages with policies, governments impact the lives of local communities, and development displaces conservation.