Author: Noboru Karashima
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195651049
This omnibus edition comprising South Indian History and Society and Towards a New Formation offers a fascinating perspective on the development of south Indian society during and after the Chola period, which ushered in a new social formation under the Vijayanagar nayaka role towards the end of the fifteenth century.
The author’s innovative approach involves the use of computerized techniques and statistical analysis to study the revenue terms and personal names appearing in Chola inscriptions and other primary sources.
The application of these new interpretive and analytical tools at the micro-regional level has greatly facilitated our understanding of the political, administrative, and social processes in the history of south India. In his subsequent work the author has used Chola and Vijayanagar sources to investigate the agrarian structures, revenue systems, and landholding patterns of the period. He has analyzed the political integration of the region by the Chola and Vijayanagar kings and investigated the important question of the relation of the peasant to the state. Based on his findings, the author has refuted the ‘segmentary state' theory that Burton Stein had propounded for his period of south Indian history.
Though the author was once faulted for his mechanical application of the statistical method, his meticulous study of Chola and Vijayanagar inscriptions and his careful scholarship based on these primary sources belie such criticism. Indeed, the statistical methodology has gained widespread acceptance among eminent scholars of south India, including James Heitzman.
Towards a New Formation includes a new chapter which expands the area of study from Tamil Nadu to the Deccan. Whether or not one agrees with the interpretations offered in these volumes, it is clear that no future scholarship can ignore these perspectives.
PRAISE FOR THE AUTHOR:
Among scholars of Indian history, and particularly among those specializing in south Indian history, Professor Noboru Karashima is ranked among the best. His path-breaking work as a concordance of names, titles, and designations, drawn from the huge body of Chola inscriptions and worked out with meticulous scholarship… Together with a small group of Japanese historians, he has been active in promoting Indian history in Japan, and suing so at a high academic level through seminars, conferences and publications. He is today the leading Japanese historian of South Asia.
He is one of those few foreign scholars … in whose hands the study of ancient south India – its history and sociology – has taken a new turn.
- The Telegraph