Author: Ann Grodzins Gold
Bhoju Ram Gujar/
Compilor: Ann Grodzins Gold and Bhoju Ram Gujar
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195661974
The book showcases peasants’ memories of everyday life in North India under royal rule and their musings on the unprecedented shifts that a half-century of Indian independence has wrought. The volume will interest researchers and students of environment and ecology, economists, sociologists, anthropologists, and historians.
It is an oral history of the former Kingdom of Sawar in the modern state of Rajasthan as it was from the 1930s to the 1950s.
Based on testimonies from the rural community, this polyvocal account of the region’s radical political and environmental changes is not just the story of modernity. The interviews and author commentaries narrated the tale of sudden transformation from subjection to a local despot and to remote colonial power, to citizenship in a modern postcolonial democracy.
Unlike other recent studies of Rajasthan, the current study gives voice exclusively to former subjects who endured the double oppression of colonial and regional rulers. Gold and Gujar thus place subjective subaltern experiences of daily routines, manifestations of power relations, and sweeping changes to the environment (after the fall of kings) that turned lush forests into a barren landscape on equal footing with historical fact and archival sources.
Ambiguous, complex, and culturally laden as it is in western thought, the concept of nature is queried in this ethnographic text.