Author: Sumit Sarkar
Publisher: Permanent Black
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8178240866
The political context in which the historian of India finds himself today, says Sumit Sarkar, is dominated by the advance of the Hindu Right and globalised forms of capitalism. Simultaneously, the historian’s intellectual context is now dominated by the marginalisation of all varieties of Marxism and an academic shift to cultural studies and postmodern critiques. In this scenario, how may a thinking historian practice the craft of history?
The theme which unites these essays is Sumit Sarkar’s consistent critique of the limits of nationalist frames. He shows that despite their divergent forms-chauvinistic or benign, political-statist or culturalist-nationalist frameworks have limited modern South Asian history. Sarkar argues forcefully for moving beyond such frames towards a flexibly Marxian social history and politics imbued with democratic, socialist-feminist, and internationalist values.
The Hindu Bomb, the history of relations between communities, the issue of religious propagation and conversion, ideas of nation and woman in Tagore’s fiction, and the relationship of left-wing historiography to postmodern ideas are some of the themes critically analysed in this major collection by the country’s best-known historian of Modern India.
1. Colonial T0imes: Clocks and Kali-yuga.
2. Identities and histories: Some lower-caste narratives from early twentieth-century Bengal.
3. Intimations of Hindutva: Ideologies, caste, and class in post-Swadeshi Bengal.
4. Two Muslim tracts for peasants: Bengal 1909-1910.
5. Nationalism and Stri-Swadhinata: the contexts and meanings of Rabindranath’s Ghare-Baire.
6. Postmodernism and the writing of history.
7. The BJP Bomb and Nationalism.
8. Christianity, Hindutva, and the question of Conversions.
9. Hindutva and History.