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Muzaffar Alam

Bio: Muzaffar Alam is an academic researcher from Jawaharlal Nehru University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Empire & Historiography. The author has an hindex of 14, co-authored 22 publications receiving 871 citations.

Papers
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Book
01 Jan 1986

135 citations

Book
01 Jan 2004
TL;DR: Shari'a and governance the Sfui intervention language and power opposition and reaffirmation as mentioned in this paper, and the role of power opposition in power opposition, and the power opposition.
Abstract: Shari'a and governance the Sfui intervention language and power opposition and reaffirmation

133 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Mughal literary culture has been noted for its notable achievements in poetry and a wide range of prose writings in Persian as discussed by the authors, however, unlike them, the other Turkic rulers outside of Iran, such as the Ottomans in Turkey and the Uzbeks in Central Asia, were not so enthusiastic about Persian.
Abstract: The Mughal literary culture has been noted for its notable achievements in poetry and a wide range of prose writings in Persian. In terms of profusion and variety of themes this literary output was also perhaps incomparable. The court's patronage has rightly been suggested as an important reason for this. This patronage, however, was not consistent throughout; much of the detail of its detour thus requires a closer scrutiny. The phenomenal rise of the language defies explanation in the first instance. The Mughals were Chaghtā'i Turks and we know that, unlike them, the other Turkic rulers outside of Iran, such as the Ottomans in Turkey and the Uzbeks in Central Asia, were not so enthusiastic about Persian. Indeed, in India also, Persian did not appear to hold such dominance at the courts of the early Mughals. In his memoir, Bābur (d. 1530), the founder of the Mughal empire in India, recounted the story of his exploits in Turkish. The Prince was a noted poet and writer of Turkish of his time, second only to ‘Alī Sheēr Nawā’ī (d. 1526). Turkish was the first language of his son and successor, Humāyūn (d. 1556), as well.

111 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors look at how, in the high Mughal period, one became a munshi, what attributes were principally called for, and what the chief educational demands were.
Abstract: The difficult transition between the information and knowledge regimes of the precolonial and colonial political systems of South Asia was largely, though not exclusively, mediated by scribes, writers, statesmen, and accountants possessing a grasp of the chief language of power in that time, namely Persian. More than any vernacular language or Sanskrit, it was in Persian that the officials of the English East India Company conducted its early rule, administration, and even diplomacy in the years around the seizure of the revenues of Bengal in the mid-eighteenth century. Hence they naturally had to come to terms with the social group that was regarded as most proficient in this regard.1 To be sure, the Mughal aristocracy and its regional offshoots provided them with certain models of etiquette and statecraft, and various “Mirror of Princes” texts attracted the attention of Company officials. But the pragmatic realities of political economy that had to be dealt with could not be comprehended within the adab of the aristocrat, and the representatives of Company Bahadur were, in any event, scarcely qualified themselves to claim such an unambiguous status. The real interlocutor for the Company official thus was the munshi, who was mediator and spokesman (vakil), but also a key personage who could both read and draft materials in Persian, and who had a grasp over the realities of politics that men such as Warren Hastings, Antoine Polier, and Claude Martin found altogether indispensable.2 Though the term munshi is recognizable even today, it has shifted semantically over the years. Aficionados of Hindi films since the 1960s will recognize the character of the munshi as the accountant and henchman of the cruel and grasping zamindar, greasily rubbing his hands and usually unable to protest the immoral demands of his master.3 Specialists on colonial surveying operations in the Himalayas and Central Asia will recall that some of those sent out on such ventures were already called “pundits” and “moonshees” in the mid-nineteenth century.4 But the latter set of meanings is not our concern in this brief essay. Rather, we shall look at how, in the high Mughal period, one became a munshi, what attributes were principally called for, and what the chief educational demands were. The sources with which we approach this problem fall broadly into two categories. Relatively rare are the first-person accounts or autobiographical narratives that will be our principal concern here. More common are normative texts, corresponding to the “Mirror of Princes” type, but which we may term the “Mirror for Scribes.” Thus, in the reign of Aurangzeb, just as Mirza Khan could pen the Tuhfat al-Hind (Gift of India), in which he set out the key elements in the education of a well-brought-up Mughal prince,5 others wrote works such as the Nigarnamah-’i Munshi (Munshi’s Letterbook), which were primarily concerned with how a munshi was to be properly trained, and which technical branches of knowledge he ought rightfully to claim a mastery of.6 Earlier still, from the reign of Ja -

102 citations

Book
03 Mar 1988
TL;DR: In this paper, a list of MAPS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS notations on TRANSLITERATION list of ABBREVIATIONS in the PUNJAB region is presented.
Abstract: LIST OF MAPS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS NOTES ON TRANSLITERATION LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS INTRODUCTION 1 BREAKDOWN OF IMPERIAL ORGANIZATION 2 THE CHANGING POSITION OF THE GOVERNOR 3 THE ZAMINDARS, THE MADAD-I MA'ASH HOLDERS AND MUGHAL ADMINISTRATION IN AWADH C 1707-1722 4 MUGHAL POWER, THE SIKHS AND OTHER LOCAL GROUPS IN THE PUNJAB 5 THE PUNJAB AFTER 1715, THE ZAMINDARS AND THE PROBLEMS FACING THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT 6 GROWTH OF NAWABI RULE IN AWADH AND ITS RELATIONS WITH LOCAL SOCIAL GROUPS 7 THE IMPERIAL COURT, THE NEW SUBADARS AND THE REGION CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX

92 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: To ask how the third world writes its own history appears, at first glance, to be exceedingly naive as mentioned in this paper. At best, it reaffirms the East-West and Orient-Occident oppositions that have shaped historical writings and seems to be a simple-minded gesture of solidarity.
Abstract: To ask how the “third world writes its own history” appears, at first glance, to be exceedingly naive. At best, it reaffirms the East–West and Orient–Occident oppositions that have shaped historical writings and seems to be a simple-minded gesture of solidarity. Furthermore, in apparently privileging the writings of historians with third-world origins, this formulation renders such scholars into “native informants” whose discourse is opened up for further disquisitions on how “they” think of “their” history. In short, the notion of the third world writing its own history seems to reek of essentialism. Seen in another way, this formulation can be construed as positing that the third world has a fixed space of its own from which it can speak in a sovereign voice. For many, this notion of a separate terrain is rendered problematic by the increasing rapidity and the voracious appetite with which the postmodern culture imperializes and devours spaces.

420 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors describe surveillance and communication in early modern India, and the information order, the Rebellion of 1857-9 and pacification of India, c. 1785-1815.
Abstract: List of maps Preface Glossary List of abbreviations Introduction 1. Prologue: surveillance and communication in early modern India 2. Political intelligence and indigenous informants during the conquest of India, c. 1785-1815 3. Misinformation and failure on the fringes of empire 4. Between human intelligence and colonial knowledge 5. The Indian ecumene: an indigenous public sphere 6. Useful knowledge and godly society, c. 1830-50 7. Colonial controversies: astronomers and physicians 8. Colonial controversies: language and land 9. The information order, the Rebellion of 1857-9 and pacification 10. Epilogue: information, surveillance and the public arena after the Rebellion Conclusion: 'knowing the country' Bibliography Index.

401 citations

Book
22 Feb 2001
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss the historical origins of a 'caste society' and the emergence of Gandhian Nationalism in India, and discuss the role of caste in the everyday life of Independent India.
Abstract: Introduction 1. Historical origins of a 'caste society' 2. The 'Brahman Raj': kings and service people, c. 1700-1830 3. Western 'Orientalists and the Colonial perception of caste' 4. Caste and the modern nation: incubus or essence 5. The everyday experience of caste in Colonial India 6. Caste debate and the emergence of Gandhian Nationalism 7. State policy and 'reservations': the politicization of caste-based social welfare goals 8. Caste in the everyday life of Independent India 9. 'Caste wars' and the mandate of violence Conclusion.

356 citations

Book
26 May 2003
TL;DR: This paper argued that Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, China, and South Asia all embodied idiosyncratic versions of a Eurasian-wide pattern whereby local isolates cohered to form ever larger, more stable, more complex political and cultural systems.
Abstract: Blending fine-grained case studies with overarching theory, this book seeks both to integrate Southeast Asia into world history and to rethink much of Eurasia's premodern past. It argues that Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, China, and South Asia all embodied idiosyncratic versions of a Eurasian-wide pattern whereby local isolates cohered to form ever larger, more stable, more complex political and cultural systems. With accelerating force, climatic, commercial, and military stimuli joined to produce patterns of linear-cum-cyclic construction that became remarkably synchronized even between regions that had no contact with one another. Yet this study also distinguishes between two zones of integration, one where indigenous groups remained in control and a second where agency gravitated to external conquest elites. Here, then, is a fundamentally original view of Eurasia during a 1,000-year period that speaks to both historians of individual regions and those interested in global trends.

236 citations

Book
14 Jul 2008
TL;DR: In this article, the meteorology of monsoons is discussed and the evolution of the Asian monsoon over tectonic and orbital timescales is discussed. And the late Holocene monsoon and human society References Index.
Abstract: Foreword 1. The meteorology of monsoons 2. Controls on the Asian monsoon over tectonic timescales 3. Monsoon evolution on tectonic timescales 4. Monsoon evolution on orbital timescales 5. Erosional impact of the Asian monsoon 6. The late Holocene monsoon and human society References Index.

183 citations