The collected essays of historian Sarvepalli Gopal (1923-2002) has finally arrived, meticulously edited with a fine introduction by Srinath Raghavan. Raghavan and the general editors of the series, Ramachandra Guha and Sunil Khilnani make a strong case for a Gopal revival.
One of the most enduring myths of the founding of the city of Calcutta (now Kolkata) is that of the rescue and subsequent marriage of the Englishman Job Charnock to an Indian woman. Marriages between Europeans and Indians were not quite uncommon in the early colonial period, most famously chronicled by William Dalrymple in his White Mughals.
The fact that foreign scholars find it difficult to decode the Indian experience of living with, negotiating and managing the multiple challenges of citizenship and rights in arguably the world’s most diverse ethnic and religious environment without, in the main, sacrificing the tenets of procedural democracy, comes as no surprise.