Reframing Hindutva Violence
by Gyanendra Pandey , , pp.,
October 2006, volume 30, No 10

A new book by any member of the early Subaltern Studies collective remains an eagerly awaited event – even when it consists, in the main, of already published essays as this one. Gyanendra Pandey has, of course, been a leading historian of modern India and given continuing and ample proof of his reputation by producing books and articles that have been provocative, original and densely described. Specifically, he has written densely detailed and carefully analysed narratives that have informed—and elaborated—key theoretical concerns regarding the relationship between subaltern initiatives and elite normalization of these, the social multiplicity and displacement of identities, the problems of memory and historical narrative and so on. Judged by the high standards that he has himself set, Routine Violence, a little disappointing for its offer of generalized insights and arguments into history and violence— which is clearly its main preoccupation – is not sufficiently rich to compensate for the denuded texture of historical description that was a challenging feature of his earlier narratives.

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