2014–15 is the centenary of the commencement of the commitment of India’s unsung heroes to one of the world’s greatest human tragedies—the First World War. A number of books have been published and a few high profile events have been conducted at India’s national capital to mark the event, principal among them being the efforts of the British High Commission, the United Service Institution and the Indian Army.
The book originated at a workshop in Delhi University’s Department of Sociology in 2010. Consequently it helps fill a gap in writings on internal security that are usually security related and state centric at that. The development perspective relying on human security and peace studies on conflict resolution frameworks are fast emerging as strong competitors.
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.