For several decades now, historians have hotly debated the socio-economic and political developments in the eighteenth century in South Asia, with some viewing it as a period of chaos and decline, and others describing it as marked by economic growth and socio-cultural efflorescence. Tabir Kalam presents the 18th century as a culturally vibrant period, and takes issue with those historians who see in the century traces of ‘culturaldecline’. In view of the impressive work ofhistorians who are conveniently dubbed as‘revisionists’, this is a view that can scarcelybe contested today. The author is also right in arguing that the 18th century efflorescence was tied to the emergence of the regional kingdoms and the consolidation of regional identities.
Tropes of Community IdentityFormations
RELIGIOUS TRADITION AND CULTURE IN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY NORTH INDIA by Tabir Kalam Primus Books, New Delhi, 2015, 187 pp., 795
May 2015, volume 39, No 5