The historical is not defined by the past; both the historical and the past are defined as themes of which one can speak. The historical is forever absent from its very presence. This means that it disappears behind its manifestations; its apparition is always superficial and equivocal; its origin, its principle, always elsewhere.
Since the advent of television in India the number of licensed television sets in India grew from 55 in 1964 to a lakh in 1975 and to just over two million connections in 1982; in 1991 a total of thirty-four million families owned television sets, growing to 65% of the Indian population owning television sets by 2014—the societal and political landscape has transformed quite dramatically.
History always offers rich pickings and an edited volume of rigorous historical research seldom disappoints. Shifting Ground: People, Animals and Mobility in India’s Environmental History is an excellent example and one thing can certainly be said about it—that even though a little unevenly, it shifts ground very effectively.
This is a collection of forty-nine articles, transcripts of speeches and lectures by a former diplomat divided into seven sections of seven pieces each; seven to represent the sapta-chiranjeevi or seven immortal beings in the Hindu pantheon; each section carries a helpful subtitle, Hanuman as the first Indian diplomat to be sent abroad, Vibheeshana who stands for righteousness and so on.
Given the plethora of debates that have come up in the last few years on the stability of Pakistan, Pakistan: Making The Economy Move Forward, makes an attempt to address this key stability-instability paradox, by critically examining the strengths and faultlines of Pakistan’s economy.