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Book folder - ramana - 01-23-2008

Google Book- From Slave to Sultan- Al Mansur of Egypt

Book folder - dhu - 01-27-2008

The Geography of Thought : How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why
by Richard Nisbett

Book folder - dhu - 01-30-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Imperial Encounters: Religion and Modernity in India and Britain
Peter van der Veer

Book Description

Picking up on Edward Said's claim that the historical experience of empire is common to both the colonizer and the colonized, Peter van der Veer takes the case of religion to examine the mutual impact of Britain's colonization of India on Indian and British culture. He shows that national culture in both India and Britain developed in relation to their shared colonial experience and that notions of religion and secularity were crucial in imagining the modern nation in both countries. In the process, van der Veer chronicles how these notions developed in the second half of the nineteenth century in relation to gender, race, language, spirituality, and science.

Avoiding the pitfalls of both world systems theory and national historiography, this book problematizes oppositions between modern and traditional, secular and religious, progressive and reactionary. It shows that what often are assumed to be opposites are, in fact, profoundly entangled. In doing so, it upsets the convenient fiction that India is the land of eternal religion, existing outside of history, while Britain is the epitome of modern secularity and an agent of history. Van der Veer also accounts for the continuing role of religion in British culture and the strong part religion has played in the development of Indian civil society. This masterly work of scholarship brings into view the effects of the very close encounter between India and Britain--an intimate encounter that defined the character of both nations.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Book folder - dhu - 05-21-2008


Book folder - dhu - 07-03-2008

Even Edward Said mentioned the following work in his Intro-

Asia And Western Dominance
A Survey Of The Vasco Da Gama Epoch Of Asian History (1959)
K. M. Panikkar

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The settlement bore witness to the double character of the Boxer  uprising - the anti-missionary sentiment and the resentment against the  Powers for the humiliations inflicted on China. The missionaries were  amply provided for in the settlement. They were to receive a share of  the indemnity., and the imperial examinations against which they had  so long complained as the main obstacle to their intellectual domination  were abolished for five years. The Powers were able to convert a portion  of Peking into an armed camp and there, in the heart of the capital  and overlooking the Forbidden City, they were able to lord it over the  Chinese. But few foresaw that these extreme conditions carried the  seeds of their own destruction; for it is to the Boxer Protocol that we  can trace the extreme bitterness which characterized Chinese relationships with the West during the next fifty years.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Book folder - Shambhu - 08-10-2008

Maanoj Rakhit's books are available on Google Books. Follow the link below. Enlarging a couple of times makes for easier reading.

In other languages too

Book folder - Guest - 08-28-2008

The following books of Dharampal are available for free download in the following website

1. Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth Century
2. Civil Disobedience in Indian Tradition
3. The Beautiful Tree
4. Panchayat Raj and India's Polity
5. Essays on Tradition, Recovery and Freedom

These are word document books.

Book folder - ramana - 09-26-2008

<b>Its crucial to remember the INA for its demise and non recognition of its role has imapcts even now and maybe for a long time.</b>

Telegraph, Kolkota, 26 Sept 2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A SPECIAL FORCE
- Patriots from another land 

Women against the Raj: The Rani of Jhansi Regiment By Joyce Chapman Lebra, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Price not mentioned

Buried in the historical, sociological and political information of Joyce Lebra’s readable book is the fascinating tale of four obscure, but indomitable, women who might be called non-resident Indians. <b>But unlike today’s NRIs, Meenachi Perumal, Ammaloo, Anjalai Ponnusamy and Muniammah Rengasamy, girls from Malaya’s rubber plantations, gave without seeking any return when they joined the Indian National Army as teenagers to fight for a motherland they had never seen. </b>

The Netaji legend has been done to death but in spite of the many books, including Lakshmi Sahgal’s A Revolutionary Life: Memoirs of a Political Activist,<b> not enough is known about the simpler girls who rallied to Subhas Chandra Bose in Malaya and Burma.</b> If only result legitimizes work, these Ranis, as Rani of Jhansi Regiment soldiers were called, did not achieve much. <b>But their determination “to die for India” (quoting Rasammah Bhupalan, another local recruit) continued the Indian tradition of female service and sacrifice that is Lebra’s underpinning theme. She says Bose’s choice of name for the regiment was a conscious attempt to exalt “the ideology of the Cosmic Mother, of India as Mother, Bharat Mata”. Citing revolutionaries like Kalpana Dutt and Bina Das, Lebra argues that “the ideological, literary, and religious incarnations of the Mother reached their most complex and distinctive expressions” in Bengal where they also inspired political activity.</b>

Not that she depicts Bose as an obsessive Bengali. On the contrary, when a woman recruit replied in Bengali to his question in English, <b>Bose retorted </b>angrily, “I don’t understand you. What makes you think you’re so special or I’m so special because we are Bengalis?… <b>Remember this: I’m Indian first, I’m Indian second, I’m Indian third, I’m Indian every time. I’m always just Indian.” </b>Rasammah, who told Lebra the story, “has refused to live in India after partition. ‘This is not the India we fought for,’ she says.”

Such vignettes make Lebra’s slim volume special, and it’s a pity there aren’t more. In fact, the first five chapters, 59 out of 108 pages (excluding an epilogue in which P. Ramasamy, an Indian Malaysian academic, argues that the INA encouraged post-war anti-British political activity) racily summarize history without any surprises for readers in India. Moreover, they are marred by printer’s devils and errors of fact. Far from being killed like the English in Kanpur in 1857, inmates of the Lucknow Residency were famously rescued in what became a stirring legend of British Indian history. Sri Aurobindo did not become “prominent” as “founder of Auroville”. Auroville was inaugurated 18 years after his death. Sri Aurobindo’s philosophical writings brought him renown.

Though she taught Indian history at Colorado University, India in general is definitely not Lebra’s forte. <b>Where she scores is in tracking down the four surviving Ranis who greeted her with “Jai Hind!” and the INA’s raised-fist salute, saying they were ready to fight again. Muniammah, a tapper’s daughter who attended a Tamil estate school for five years, was only 13 when she insisted on enlisting. “The only thing on our minds was freeing India from the British. We were willing to give our lives to the cause.” A photograph by the author shows the aged, but cheerful, Muniammah saluting in her wartime cap.</b>

Interviewing them in their homes through an interpreter must have been an arduous task for Lebra, who is of almost the same vintage. But she was already familiar with the subject, having written about Rani Lakshmibai’s exploits and INA-Japan relations. Used to wartime “comfort women”, the Japanese did not take the Ranis seriously. <b>But Aung San, Burma’s charismatic nationalist leader who was murdered after independence, was so impressed that he asked Bose to raise a similar regiment of Burmese women. These Ranis were young, of humble origins and unlettered but they enjoyed an advantage over British Indian soldiers who escaped the brutality of Japanese PoW camps by joining Bose.</b> As Lebra says, “from the Japanese perspective, the INA was tainted from the start” because “surrender did not exist in Japanese military rhetoric or practice”. <b>In contrast, the Ranis fought because, to cite Promita Pal, “the sacrifice of our lives will reduce the whole of the British empire to ashes”.</b>

Even the suggestion that most Malayan recruits were “the lowest of the low” and joined up to escape “racial slurs” and “the silent contempt in which they were held by Chinese and Malays” <b>cannot flaw Meenachi’s heroism in volunteering for the Jan Baz “suicide unit”. </b>The end was an anti-climax for girls who happily rose at dawn for gruelling training, marched with a rifle, tramped the Burmese jungle and refused to salute Japan’s flag because the Japanese did not salute India’s. <b>As Muniammah lamented, “Our turn to fight never came; we had to retreat in 1944 by train.” One Rani tried to commit suicide rather than go back. Others signed a petition in their own blood begging to be sent into combat. It was not that they saw no action. Their camp was bombed right at the start, and Josephine and Stella were killed when their retreating train was attacked.</b>

Bose saw his girl soldiers as symbolic of Lakshmibai. <b>Just as the INA created a model of equality and harmony, the discipline and organization of the Ranis set an example of female empowerment. Or would if India had taken greater notice of humble Indian Malayan women who fought for a distant and virtually unknown motherland. Meenachi, Ammaloo, Anjalai and Muniammah may not be the only survivors. If India will not, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, which sponsored Lebra, should commission a Tamil-speaking researcher to track down other forgotten INA survivors in the region for a more focussed chronicle of diasporic patriotism.</b>


Integrating women soldiers into the Indian armed forces was delayed by fifty years with a lot of fuddy/duddy arguements from koi hai saabs..

We can have a IF page for these forgotten heroines.

Also it might stiffen the IA's fighting spirit if they had a unit on the INA in their course work on how nationalistic ideas shape and form Armed forces. It wasnt all pacifist struggle for the Independence.

Book folder - Bodhi - 10-09-2008

Ancient India As Described By Megasthenes And Arrian, J.W.Mccrindle, 1877 from archive


Book folder - ramana - 10-29-2008

Sri Rama Jois' book in Google Books:

Legal and Constitutional History of India

Book folder - ramana - 10-30-2008

Book review Pioneer, 30 Oct., 2008
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->British Empire’s incredible objective: Welfare of the Conquered

If there was a single moving spirit consistently behind British Imperialism, it was pioneering enterprise, business through discovery. KR Phanda and Prafull Goradia look at Piers Brendon’s story of the decline and fall of the Empire

The Decline and Fall of the British Empire
Author: Piers Brendon
Publisher: Vintage (Random House Group)
Price: Rs 695

Piers Brendon has written an exceptionally interesting account of the largest empire in history. Its title, The Decline and Fall of the British Empire is, however, a misnomer. Evidently, the author is a Gibbonphile. Or else, there is no reason to use this name for his book. If anything, the volume covers the beginning to the end of the empire, from the 17th century when America began to be colonized to 1997 when the Hong Kong lease expired. A photograph of the Union Jack being lowered on the island is a part of the book. Incidentally, the Falkland Islands still celebrate the continuing flicker of the empire. This epical saga has been covered in the course of some 650 pages; too short a length for so long a story. It is therefore not a history but a racy narrative of selected, engaging episodes.

In the words of the author, “This is my aim, for a shorter period, in the following pages. I endeavour to give the big picture vitality through abundance of detail, telling the imperial story in terms of people, places and events; through brief lives, significant vistas and key episodes. I trace the warp and weft of imperial existence. And some strands come under particularly close scrutiny: the food and drink empire-builders consumed, the clothes they wore, the homes they built, the clubs they joined, the struggles they endured, the loot they acquired, the jubilees, durbars and exhibitions they attended. Also observed are their trimmed moustaches and clipped foreskins, their addiction to games and work, their low-brow ideas and high-minded attitudes, their curious blend of honesty and hypocrisy, their preoccupation with protocol and prestige, their racial prejudices and the extent to which they lived in symbiosis with their charges. I lack the space, not to mention the knowledge, to treat all aspects of the history of the British Empire.”

In the Introduction to his work, Brendon quotes Edward Gibbon as having taught that chronology is the logic of history. But he himself does not follow this teaching in this book under review. He is choosy; apparently his criterion is how interesting an episode and how few readers are likely to be familiar with it. For example, the first chapter consists of 29 pages on The American Revolution or the War of Independence. Yet 14 of the 29 pages are devoted to the Slave Trade mainly with Jamaica and its sugar plantations. The details are lurid and unlikely to be known to many. To quote a paragraph, after the cruel rigours of their abduction in West Africa, their sale to the white traders and the voyage to the New World, “Africans who reached the West Indies looked more like shadows than men. Most were skeletal, many were ill and a few had gone mad. So they were prepared for market, fed, washed, rubbed with palm oil until they gleamed, calmed with drams and pipes. Grey hair was shaved or dyed. To conceal signs of the ‘bloody flux’ some ships’ doctors plugged the anuses of slaves with oakum, causing excruciating pain. They also used a mixture of iron rust, lime juice and gun powder to remove the external symptoms of yaws. Slaves were then subjected to further humiliating scrutiny and sold once again, sometimes individually, sometimes by auction, sometimes in a ‘scramble’. The last was a ferocious melee in which purchasers seized what slaves they could, all at a fixed price.”

The author then scoffs at the slave owners, traders, shippers and British leaders like Edmund Burke who said that colonial government was for those who were unable to rule themselves. They need a trust to be exercised by the rulers for their benefit; an imperial trusteeship for the betterment of native societies. The fact that many a liberated slave, after slavery was abolished, were unwilling to go to Sierra Leone or Liberia showed that they had to be forced to be free. So as Jean Jacques Rousseau said liberty could be compulsory. <b>The author adds, Britain would subjugate many lands in its name, i.e. liberty.</b>

As one reads on, one often comes across an apologetic attitude of the author to the empire. It is difficult to say whether Brendon sincerely feels that way. Or is it to give a balance to his narrative; so that it does not sound like a boast about Britain’s imperial success? Or is it a touch of inverted snobbery whereby it sounds right to be self derogatory? At one stage, he refers to British hypocrisy which claimed that liberty was its governing principle. On the other hand, the author of capitalism, Adam Smith, in his Wealth of Nations, did write that trade was cost effective, humane, immune to rebellion compared with empire. Britain should restrict itself to commercial dominance. The author goes on to quote how Smith contended that colonies were a cause of weakness rather than of strength to Britain. On the other hand, Brendon could not help referring to Sir George Macartney who talked about the empire on which the sun never set. <b>In the ultimate analysis, the British could not be free from the ego !</b>

In the course of his treatment of America, Brendon shows repeated concern for the fact that it was Lord Cornwallis who finally surrendered to George Washington and ended the War of Independence in 1776. He appears to feel that the quality of Cornwallis was vindicated by defeating Tipu Sultan at the second battle of Seringapatam in 1799. Britannia’s Indian Empire is a 31 page chapter in which three pages are devoted to Tipu only. His qualities make absorbing reading although in a historical perspective they might not have deserved so much space. To quote, “Moral censure of Tipu Sultan did not come well from a nation which treated convicts and slaves so brutally and, in any case, it rather missed the mark. Seen in the context of South Indian kingship, the Tiger of Mysore was, if hardly tame, not altogether wild. Tipu was intelligent, cultured and witty. He possessed a library of two thousand volumes (carefully wrapped and placed in chests to protect them from white ants) which doubtless nurtured his passion for innovation. He was as fascinated by western technology as by eastern astrology, wearing on his person a gold fob watch and a magical silver amulet. His French-trained army was in some respects superior to that of the British. Tipu’s artillery was ‘both larger and longer than ours’, wrote an English officer, his ‘Rocket Boys are daring, especially when intoxicated by Bang.’ The Sultan was altogether ‘a respectable and formidable enemy’. He was also notably fastidious. His chin was cleanly shaved in oil of almonds, and his muscular body, tending to corpulence but distinguished by delicate wrists and ankles, was regularly ‘shampooed’ (i.e. massaged). A fine white handkerchief, a black enamel vase of flowers and a silver spit-box were placed close to his musnud, which faced Mecca. Although the court elephants were trained to make obeisance to him, Tipu dressed plainly, ate; with restraint (for breakfast ‘an electuary composed of the brains of male tame sparrows’), and spent little time in his zenana. A keen hunter, ‘an incomparable horseman, a gallant soldier, an excellent marksman’, he was admired as well as feared.”

Although Pitts India Act of 1784 prohibited further conquest in India, Cornwallis’ successor Richard Wellesley, aimed to establish one paramount power in India. He kept his aim and, in a matter of eight years, he ensured the rise of “an insignificant trading settlement to a mighty empire” as Lord Valentine wrote. He built the palatial Government House for himself against the wishes of the East India Company Directors. They could do nothing; <b>the moral of these stories was how little was the control of London over self willed Governor Generals 7000 miles away. And how uncoordinated was the growth of the empire.</b>

In the course of a total of 22 chapters, the author deals with the entire empire from the white colonies like Australia to the conquest of Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Gold Coast to East Asia, Malaya et al. <b>If there was a single moving spirit consistently behind the empire building, it was a pioneering enterprise, business through discovery. Most other motives were paradoxical. Trade versus empire. Liberty versus helping those who did not know how to rule themselves. Then there were the evangelists for whom it was a white man’s burden to civilize the coloured people.</b>

<b>Regardless, the British empire was the most sophisticated of all empires in history. It exploited its colonies but as businessmen would. Develop their economies, create their productivity and then cream their surpluses by exporting manufactured goods to them expensive and importing their commodities cheap.</b> What Dadabhai Naoroji had called adverse terms of trade. Otherwise, the accounts of each colony were separate and often Britain owed money to some colonies. For example, at the end of World War II, New Delhi was London’s creditor. <b>All in all, Britain enabled a number of its colonies to undergo an industrial revolution; India was one example. True, it meant more profit for the British. But for India, it meant the building of infrastructure like the railways, the ports, the electricity to enable the profits. Above all, an excellent administration guided by the rule of law backed by a modern jurisprudence.</b>

Although Brendon, in his modesty, has not made the point, its merit would standout clearly if a comparison was attempted with the other contemporary imperialists. <b>The Dutch did little in their colonies but loot. The Portuguese priority was to destroy temples and convert the people to Catholicism. The French busied themselves with civilizing the people; making them pseudo-French; did not lend their excellence of governance. Belgium and its Congo need no mention.</b>

<b>The British empire did not decline and fall in the manner of say the Roman or the Ottoman. The rulers in London and elsewhere did not degenerate as did the Romans and the Turks. The nation, that fought World War II, could not possibly be decrepit. Soon after the war, the Atlee government decided on a spontaneous, largely graceful, withdrawal. Beginning with India in 1947, the end of the empire was completed in 1997 at Hong kong.</b>

<b>Whitehall must have been motivated by several factors, some conscious others implicit, but certainly differing from colony to colony.</b> In the case of India, London might have felt that, after the rebellion led by Netaji Subhas’ Indian National Army whose soldiers violated their oath of loyalty to the crown, a lakh of expatriates can no longer control the enormous colony. Perhaps, it was the British aversion to dealing with the Hindu-Muslim conflict after the war. And so on.

<b>Nevertheless, one was a universal consideration applicable to all colonies. Territory or land was about the only source of big wealth until the Industrial Revolution. Fishing, farming and mining were the main economic activities. With the progress of the Revolution, the growth of manufacture and marketing, territory began to be discounted; with that the economic value of colonies.</b>


This last one was the arguement advanced by US experts for dismantling the empire.

Book folder - ramana - 11-07-2008


<img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Vijayanagara: Splendour in ruins Edited by George Michell, The Alkazi Collection of Photography, Mapin, Unesco, Price not mentioned

“The pupil of the eye has never seen a place like it,” wrote a Persian envoy to the court of King Devaraya II in the mid-15th century, about what he saw of the splendour of Vijayanagara. Abdur Razzaq — like the many European travellers who left wondrous accounts in the 15th and 16th centuries — was talking about the military empire founded in the wake of the Muslim invasions of peninsular India, stretching across the entire South India except for the Kerala coast. What became a showpiece of imperial magnificence lasted until the catastrophic battle of Talikota in 1565. Since then, pillaging armies, centuries of treasure-seekers and Time itself have turned it into one of the world’s most magnificent ruins, drawing artists, photographers and archaeologists from the earliest years of the 19th century, as did the ruins of Rome and Athens. This is the colonial and postcolonial story of how a tragic monument of the history of South India became a Unesco World Heritage site in 1986.

George Michell, an architect and archaeologist, has co-directed a team of researchers at the Vijayanagara site between 1980 and 2001. He has put together in Vijayanagara: Splendour in Ruins a richly layered, meticulously documented and beautifully designed photographic and historical archive. Many histories converge in this volume. First, a political, cultural and, more specifically, architectural history of the Vijayanagara kingdom, succinctly documented by Anila Verghese, and deftly laid out in Michell’s maps, plans and detailed, site-specific account of the entire spread of the ruins. Second, the book provides a specialized visual history of British colonialism, in its efforts to document, represent and interpret the Vijayanagara ruins in various media from around the year 1800, when the site came under British rule.

Finally, and perhaps most splendidly, Splendour in Ruins is a major contribution to the history of photography, drawing from the Alkazi Collection of Photography (an archive of 19th- and early-20th-century photographic prints, negatives and albums from South and South-east Asia), and setting new standards in the curation, interpretation and reproduction of early photography in India. The preface by the Australian architectural photographer, John Gollings, brings to the book’s images acute technical and creative insights gained from trying to retrace the practice of these 19th-century photographers of Vijayanagara with modern equipment. Gollings’s own work had pinpointed the exact spots where they had pitched their tripods a century and a half ago, much as Christopher Rauschenberg has “rephotographed” Eugène Atget’s Paris. Sophie Gordon and Mike Ware’s essays on the photographers and on the processes by which they made their images work into this book the “archive fever” that could enliven the work of historians as well as photographers.

All the photographs reproduced above are positives made in 2007 from more than a hundred “waxed-paper negatives” left by Alexander Greenlaw (1818-70). He was an Englishman stationed at the British cantonment at Bellary from 1863, was transferred to Burma, and came back to India to die and be buried in Coonoor. Greenlaw, who knew Hindi and Tamil and was the official interpreter to the corps, made these photographs as a “committed amateur”, not as a government commission but “purely to satisfy a personal desire to explore the site”. Only the negatives, and no prints, survive, and most of the former were made in 1856. But Greenlaw’s name has become part of the history of photography not only because of the beauty of his images, but also because of his adaptation of Henry Talbot’s calotype method of photography, already a “dying process” then, to Indian conditions of light, temperature and humidity. The two images (bottom right) of the Narasimha monolith, allow one to compare the modern positive with Greenlaw’s negative, remarkable for its sheer size (445x402 mm). He worked in a large format demanding small apertures and long exposures.

On the left, is Greenlaw’s remarkably sharp view of the east gopura of the Virupaksha Temple. The background is blank and cloudless because the blue sky always exposes as white on paper negatives, while warm and coloured stone comes out much darker than is apparent. Top right is the King’s Balance in front of a double-storeyed gateway by the Tungabhadra river. This balance weighed the Vijayanagara rulers against jewels and coins, which were then distributed to Brahmins. Greenlaw keeps his bare-bodied and turbaned local assistants in the frame; in architectural photography, this usually indicated the scale. But these human presences, one of them asleep on the ancient stone, become traces of yet another history, which photography saves from oblivion, if not from silence and slow time.


Book folder - ramana - 12-19-2008

Maulana Azad was tlaking about a number of Muslim officers who got stuck in TSP thanks to Nehru.

The Unmaking of Peoples

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->THE UNMAKING OF PEOPLES 
<img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

Nowhere to belong 
The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories By Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, Viking, Rs 495

There are a few standard approaches to the Partition of India in 1947. One is to look at British policy and how, over the years, the British pursued a policy of divide and rule which eventually to the creation of Pakistan, a separate state for Muslims. The reverse of this approach is to look at the role played by Indian politicians in the unmaking of the sub-continent. A very different perspective was opened up when analysts moved away from politicians and policy-making to the lives of the people who were affected by the uprooting, the violence and so on. Building on this, Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar opens up a new and refreshing dimension.

The Partition involved, as Zamindar so tellingly observes, “the bureaucratic violence of drawing of political boundaries and nationalizing identities that became, in some lives, interminable”. At first sight, the matter seems obvious enough: a group of administrators, at the behest of their political masters, redrew the boundaries of India to create a new nation state called Pakistan. Suddenly, the identities of some people changed, some were even asked to choose identities. What appears simple in its telling became an entangled mess at the level of the day-to-day for the people and the families who were affected. They suddenly became victims, and in the conventional way that historians look at history, some of them became subjects of the history of Pakistan and others of India. Their lives, their suffering and the confusion slipped through the mess.

Zamindar seeks to recover these lives. The Partition, even sixty years later, continues to affect people’s lives — hence her phrase, “a long Partition”. The author is also asking us to rethink the category of national histories. Those families that came to be divided, the men and women who lost their identities — to which country do they belong, India or Pakistan?

Take the case of Ghulam Ali, whose story started off Zamindar on her quest. Ghulam Ali was a havildar in the British Indian Army. When Partition was announced in June 1947, he, like all those in the government and military service, was asked to choose which of the two nation states he wanted to serve. He opted for India as he hailed from Lucknow. But before the formalities could be completed, communal violence broke out, and India and Pakistan went to war over Kashmir. Ali was forced to work for the Pakistan army. In 1950, he was discharged as he had opted for India, taken to the border and, since he was deemed to be an Indian, was “forcibly removed” into Indian territory. The Indian checkpost did not recognize him as an Indian and he was arrested for entering India without proper documents. He served a prison sentence and in 1951, he was deported back to Pakistan on the grounds that he was a Pakistani. In Pakistan, Ali appealed to the courts to be recognized as a Pakistani national, but in 1956, he was declared to be an Indian national. He bought himself a Pakistani passport and came to Lucknow, where he applied for Indian citizenship. This was turned down and the Indian authorities took him to the Wagah border, where the Pakistani officials arrested him considering him to be an Indian, and Ali spent the rest of his life in the “Hindu camp” in Lahore. Ghulam Ali’s story comes closest to that story about Toba Tek Singh of Sadat Hasan Manto. Like Tek Singh, Ali did not know where he belonged. He was not allowed to belong.

Zamindar’s narrative is rich in stories like this. This alone would have made her book an outstanding one, since the research and ethnography are both new and deep. But she successfully weaves these stories with other layers of history — the national and the provincial. In one cogent narrative, she brings together the personal, the local, the provincial and the national. This is a remarkable achievement of scholarship.


Book folder - Guest - 02-03-2009

google book
<b>The Early History of India from 600 B.C. to the Muhammadan</b>

Book folder - Bodhi - 04-07-2009

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I have some extra copies for sale (within USA only) of <b>Shrikant Talageri's recent book `The Rigveda and the Avesta, the Final Evidence' (Aditya Prakashan, 2008). </b>

Price is <b>$10 (including media mail postage)</b>.

If you want a copy (or copies), please write to me at

vishalagarwal at yahoo dot com

Thank you.

Vishal Agarwal<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Book folder - Bharatvarsh - 05-03-2009

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Title:  Maharana Pratap
Authors:  Sharma, Ram
Woolner, A C<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Title:  Maharana Kumbha: Soverign, soldier, scholar
Authors:  Sarda, Harbilas<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Book folder - Guest - 05-04-2009


<b>Accounts of the Gypsies of India </b>

Book folder - ramana - 05-27-2009

Paydirt from Delhi Uty

Indian War of Independence 1857- V.D. Savarkar

This book recast 1857 as a war for independence instead of the British view as a mutiny.

Book folder - Guest - 06-16-2009

<b>Census of India, 1901 By India. Census Commissioner, Edward Albert Gait</b>

Book folder - Guest - 06-19-2009

Latest edition of Pragati magazine is full devoted to Indian History & its relevance. It can be read in (can be downloaded into pdf)

It has articles like:
i. Why History is important
ii. Genomic unity of India for 50000 years
iii. A Muslim traveller’s tales - Across the Dar-ul-Islam in the 14th century
iv. Foreign observations - Excerpts from perspectives on India (Megasthenes,
Xuanzang, Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, George Curzon & Alice Albinia) etc