Ashin Das Gupta
An Atlas of the Mughal Empire: Political and Economic Maps with Detailed Notes, Biblio¬graphy and Index by Irfan Habib Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1982, 105 pp., 400
May-June 1982, volume 6, No 6

Irfan Habib is the closest we get to Marc Bloch among Indian historians. True, the focus is much narrower but there is the same magic with the documents, and a similar talent to piece together the material living of a people. Irfan Habib has moved from a masterly analysis of the Mughal agrarian structure to a wide-ranging search after medieval technology. And now he gives us an incom¬parable atlas of the Mughal Empire based on minute knowledge and presented with complete honesty. With this atlas we may celebrate a landmark in Indian historio¬graphy. There are thirty-two sheet-maps of the empire drawn to a scale of 1:2,000,000, apart from three insets in the Intro¬duction. Of the thirty-two, as many as twenty-six are devo¬ted to northern India, with six presenting the south in large agglomerates. That, I suppose, is fair enough con¬sidering that the Mughal Empire was a northern pheno¬menon and the Aligarh exper¬tise still tends to think of the Deccan as a special case. The imbalance will doubtless be corrected eventually, as southern historiography comes into its own.

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