Anchoring on Banaras—a site where not only cultural plurality permeates and colours its social fabric but where medical plurality also thrived within the context of East-West encounter—Indigenous and Western Medicine in Colonial India delineates varied shades of the social history of medicine reflecting on ‘the multiplicity and complexity of social interaction and encounter between indigenous and western medicine’ (p. XI) that still endures in Banaras.
Nile Green is an unusually gifted historian. He has been engaged, almost single-handedly, in a quiet revisionism in the social history of early modern India. His work has served to introduce fresh perspectives to our understanding of early modern epistemology, bringing in dimensions of corporeality and embodiment to processes of knowledge formation.
Subaltern Lives offers us much more than what it initially promises. It is not just a prospographical analysis of individual convicts, or about recuperating lives of marginal groups transported across vast spaces of Empire under conditions of extreme regulation and punishment, it is about methodology and the challenges of reading archives.
‘…she is special…not just because she is making a hundred but because she is Zohra Segal, dancer, actress, story-teller, lover —lover of all things—and loved by all things, great and small and those in-between…’. These words of Tom Alter truly sum up the personality that has been so central to our imagination of Hindi cinema.
Uma, the protagonist of the novel, a young woman from a well-to-do back-ground with a modicum of higher education in Delhi, is married into an aristocratic brahmin family in Kolkata, and thereafter delves into its family history with an almost unhealthy curiosity.