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Showing papers in "Indian Economic and Social History Review in 2012"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors focus on the materiality of the marchive, on the spaces and locations in which literature was produced and performed, and on the oral-performative practices and agents that made texts circulate to audiences in ways not bound by the script in which the texts appear to us.
Abstract: How can we conceptualise multingual literary culture and how can we research it? Drawing upon a 3-year AHRC funded project, this essay focuses on the materiality of the marchive, on the spaces and locations in which literature was produced and performed, and on the oral-performative practices and agents that made texts circulate to audiences in ways not bound by the script in which the texts appear to us.Not only are the models of composite culture and language specificity questioned as aresult, but the sites of literary production move from the court to a series of intersections, and areas that were peripheral move into view and connect with others.

46 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argues for a more consciously layered awareness of our multiple historical locations, arguing that life unfolds at multiple levels and spaces between which exist complex overlays, tensions, conflicts and connections.
Abstract: History is conventionally imagined and narrated in the context of the nation, relating its stories and shaped by its imaginaries. To the extent the latter are selectively re-encoded into seemingly wider scales or spaces of historical narration, projects such as global history may be said to be oxymorons. Historians in the post-colonial world have also long been aware of the nation’s shadow even in purportedly transnational projects emanating from the North, yet many remain similarly in thrall to the nation. In surveying the various levels at which histories have attempted to be narrated purportedly beyond the boundaries of nations, this article argues for a more consciously layered awareness of our multiple historical locations. Life unfolds at multiple levels and spaces between which exist complex overlays, tensions, conflicts and connections. Besides the conventions and expediencies of scholarship, often in practice historians too, will feel impelled to privilege one or another level or locus for their ...

20 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine the intertwined literary and political processes that moulded the texts of Mughal sovereignty and shaped the lives of sovereigns, and reveal new, less intuitive perspectives on the cultures that produced these texts and their protagonists.
Abstract: This article examines the intertwined literary and political processes that moulded the texts of Mughal sovereignty and shaped the lives of Mughal sovereigns. In historical terms it considers the lives of Babur (d. 1530) and his grandson Akbar (d. 1605) and the ‘books’ associated with them, the Baburnama and Akbarnama. However, in order to connect the two pairs, this article follows an unconventional and less trodden path through Safavid political history, Iranian Sufism and the Persian epic and storytelling tradition. By doing so, it reveals new, less intuitive perspectives on the cultures that produced these texts and their protagonists. Specifically, it shows how Babur’s work and others like it were not only products of new literary tastes and reading practices but also participated in the making of new institutions of kingship and sainthood that evolved together in Mughal India and Safavid Iran over the sixteenth century.

15 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Manan Ahmed1
TL;DR: The Chachnama as discussed by the authors, a multi-genre Persian text written in Uch in 1226, represents a unique formulation of a possible future for a Muslim polity at the frontier and under immense duress.
Abstract: The multi-genre Persian text Chachnama, written in Uch in 1226, represents a unique formulation of a possible future for a Muslim polity at the frontier and under immense duress. In its explicit linkage of a Muslim with a local pre-Islamic past within the site and milieu of its production, the Chachnama presents the beginnings of a new political theology. Long understood as a translation of an earlier text, it is instead a specifically imagined text that found political and romantic resonance in the histories of Uch and Sindh through the centuries. This article provides a close reading of the text to elucidate the ways in which it participates in varied genres and the socio-political claims it makes on historiography. It further traces the historiography surrounding the text and highlights the ways in which classificatory schema (such as genre) operate on analytical understandings of narratives.

11 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A seventeenth-century text that attempts to reconcile Hindu and Muslim accounts of human genesis and cosmogony has been examined in this paper, where the authors argue that evidence of the Muslim prophets was available in ancient Hindu scriptures.
Abstract: This article examines a seventeenth-century text that attempts to reconcile Hindu and Muslim accounts of human genesis and cosmogony. The text, Mir’āt al-Makhlūqāt (‘Mirror of Creation’), written by a noted Mughal Sufi author Shaikh ‘Abd al-Rahman Chishti, purportedly a translation of a Sanskrit text, adopts rhetorical strategies and mythological elements of the Purāna tradition in order to argue that evidence of the Muslim prophets was available in ancient Hindu scriptures. Chishti thus accepts the reality of ancient Hindu gods and sages and notes the truth in their message. In doing so Chishti adopts elements of an older argument within the Islamic tradition that posits thousands of cycles of creation and multiple instances of Adam, the father of humans. He argues however that the Hindu gods and sages belonged to a different order of creation and time, and were not in fact human. The text bears some generic resemblance to Bhavishyottarapurāna materials. Chishti combines aspects of polemics with a deft u...

10 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the perceived presence of Muslim saintly figures at various medieval ruins in contemporary Delhi has been investigated, and the authors explore how popular relationships with the saints with respect to Islam have been explored.
Abstract: This article is centrally concerned with understanding the perceived presence of Muslim saintly figures at various medieval ruins in contemporary Delhi. I explore how popular relationships with the...

10 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A shift of worldviews can be observed in the historical writings of three Indo-Persian authors as mentioned in this paper, i.e., Abd al-Malik ‘Isami, Rizq Allah Mushtaqi and Nizam al-Din Ahmad.
Abstract: A shift of worldviews can be observed in the historical writings of three Indo-Persian authors ‘Abd al-Malik ‘Isami, Rizq Allah Mushtaqi and Nizam al-Din Ahmad. Whereas ‘Isami viewed history as the unfolding of events predetermined by divine fate; Nizam al-Din considered human agency to be the main mover of events. Mushtaqi displayed ambivalence between the two. His text can thus be read as the expression of a worldview under disintegration and re-composition in the transition from the Sultanate to the Mughal period. This change of attitude bears similarities to other ‘Early Modern Features’ of the late sixteenth century.

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the defeat of Jogendranath Mandal and the Scheduled castes federation in the context of partition-era Bengal is explained, and an explanation for the defeat is given.
Abstract: This article offers an explanation for the defeat of Jogendranath Mandal and the Scheduled Castes Federation in the context of partition-era Bengal. Departing from analyses of Scheduled Caste integ...

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigated the development status of the traditional jute industry in Bengal around the mid-nineteenth century, and when did it enter into the phase of decline, and what were the sources of comparative advantages between the Dundee and Calcutta mills.
Abstract: This article seeks to situate Bengal’s jute industry during the nineteenth century in a global perspective. It was a long-established cottage industry in Bengal that entered into the global market before the advent of jute technologies at Dundee, and grew together with the Dundee mills through the mid-nineteenth century. The subsequent emergence of modern mills in Bengal further aggravated the market competition. In view of inadequate deliberations in the existing literature, we intend to investigate four important questions on the contemporary jute industry: (a) what was the development status of the traditional jute industry in Bengal around the mid-nineteenth century?; (b) when did it enter into the phase of decline?; (c) what were the sources of comparative advantages between the Dundee and Calcutta mills?; and (d) what were the nature and consequences of competition between them? These issues are discussed, and also quantified, wherever possible, on the basis of contemporary data and information. The...

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the reception and genre of the Shāhnāmah in India is considered, and a methodological split in the historiographical corpus is proposed, between a rationalist (aqli) and transmission-based (naqli) method.
Abstract: This article considers the reception and genre of the Shāhnāmah in India. It takes as its starting-point comments made by the poet Mirza Asad Allah Khan Ghalib in 1866, moving on to look at a Mughal Shāhnāmah adaptation, the Tarikh-i dil-gusha-i Shamsher-Khani, and its Urdu translations, as well as other Persian, Urdu and Arabic texts. It investigates the (mis)identification of the Shāhnāmah’s genre, looking at cases in which it was understood as historiographical rather than as a romance, and seeking an explanation for this ‘contamination’ of the sincere genre of history by the mendacious romance genre. A methodological split in the historiographical corpus is proposed, between a rationalist (‘aqli) and transmission-based (naqli) method. The contest between these two methods is considered, and the prevalence of transmission-based history and its similarity to romance is brought forward as a possible reason for the porousness of the border between these ostensibly opposing genres.

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors brought early modern Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) into the discourse, providing new quantitative evidence on wages, prices, demography and occupations from the Dutch East India Company archives.
Abstract: >> In the light of the great divergence debate, the economic history of Asian countries has attracted increased attention in the past decade. This article brings early modern Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) into the discourse, providing new quantitative evidence on wages, prices, demography and occupations from the Dutch East India Company archives. It is shown that throughout the eighteenth century, Ceylonese living standards were around subsistence level, lower than in Europe, and, until 1760, China. This can to some extent be attributed to population growth, driven by high birth rates rather than high life expectancies. The occupational structure in the maritime provinces of Ceylon shows that almost one-third of the labour force laboured outside agriculture in 1684, which does not compare favourably with England and Holland. These tentative figures suggest that Ceylon already lagged behind northwestern Europe before 1800.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The early colonial state formally institutionalised the widow's consent as the basis for all lawful immolations of Hindu widows as discussed by the authors, a development that neither the state nor its Brahman ritual specialists had actually intended.
Abstract: The article straddles two separate but intertwined registers. One is the interface between faith and law under early colonial rule. I explore this through the lens of colonial governance of immolations of Hindu widows. The other is the gradual transmutation of an idea or a word: consent, the widow’s consent to burning alive. The early colonial state formally institutionalised the widow’s consent as the basis for all lawful immolations. That, I argue, eventuated, over a long stretch of time, and through a strangely twisted dialectic, in a horizon of female entitlements and immunities. Controversially but recognisably, she became the bearer of something like rights rather than of sacred prescriptions and injunctions alone. This was a development that neither the state nor its Brahman ritual specialists had actually intended.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors focus on the writings of Phaniswarnath Renu to understand ways in which he represented the rural life of Kosi region, and argue that Renu's craftsmanship rendered the backwardness of this region in a manner that highlights what Edward Soja calls "instrumentality of the space" and argued that the landscape of a backward region is densely imbued with particulars that cannot be translocated to any other setting.
Abstract: Anchored in the decade of 1950s, this article focuses on the writings of Phaniswarnath Renu to understand ways in which he represented the rural life of Kosi region. Also known as the old Purnea district of Bihar, this region has been historically visualised as unhealthy and backward. Following Michel Foucault’s notion of heterotopia, the article argues that Renu’s craftsmanship renders the backwardness of this region in a manner that highlights what Edward Soja calls ‘instrumentality of the space’. Unlike the dominant constructs of village life in India, Renu’s villages are neither empty of their geo-cultural specificities nor devoid of placeness. Instead, the landscape of a backward region is densely imbued with particulars that cannot be translocated to any other setting. Renu’s ‘regional–rural’ craftsmanship depended on three mutually connected factors. These include his innovative use of language forms distinguishing him from his predecessors like Premchand; his mobilisation of an enormous amount of ...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Burdwan district, with its advantageous position in transportation network and good resource endowments, spontaneously responded to the commercialisation of agriculture as mentioned in this paper, and rice received considerable commercial importance in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Abstract: Burdwan district, with its advantageous position in transportation network and good resource endowments, spontaneously responded to the commercialisation of agriculture. Rice received considerable commercial importance in the second half of the nineteenth century. It found access to new markets within and outside Bengal and consequently rice trade flourished. Rice trade was carried on regularly in an organised way in Burdwan and expanded considerably from the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The business acumen as well as entrepreneurial activities of Burdwan’s traders and merchants was successfully demonstrated with the expansion of commercialisation of agriculture. The rice merchants and rice millers dominated the rice trade of Burdwan, forming associations for protecting and promoting their business. They carried on their trade independently and successfully, demonstrating their entrepreneurial ability.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a survey of the state of the art in the field of cyber security and cyber security for the first time, and propose a framework to improve the quality of cyber-physical security systems.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the 1920s and 30s, the Naga areas comprising Naga Hills and the adjoining Naga inhabited hill tracts of Manipur witnessed two important initiatives which were to become integral to the imagining and making of a Naga nation: the movement among the Rongmeis, Liangmeis and Zemes under the leadership of Jadonang and later Gaidinliu, popularly known as the Zeliangrong movement as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: In the 1920s and 30s, the Naga areas comprising Naga Hills and the adjoining Naga inhabited hill tracts of Manipur witnessed two important initiatives which were to become integral to the imagining and making of a Naga nation: the movement among the Rongmeis, Liangmeis and Zemes under the leadership of Jadonang and later Gaidinliu—popularly known as the Zeliangrong movement—and the programmes and activities of the Naga Club. Both the Zeliangrong movement and the Naga Club had a history and trajectory of their own but at the same time, faced with situations that seemed to threaten their way of life, they envisioned and anticipated a moment when Nagas would be united as a single political entity independent from the kingdoms of the plains and other external political authorities. This article looks closely at these initiatives, their shared and particular histories, how they made sense of and negotiated with their existing reality, and finally the visions they had of their anticipated Naga nation. The artic...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article explored the forms, linguistic styles and more precisely, the mental universe of the rural society embedded in historical ballads and explained the dynamics of the social origin of this oral narrative and its significance.
Abstract: Recent advances in folklore studies makes it possible to reasonably address the complex origin of historical-ballads. This scholarship carefully explores the forms, linguistic styles and more precisely, the mental universe of the rural society embedded in historical ballads. Doli-Puran—an Assamese historical ballad narrating the events related to the peasant rebellion of 1894—could be a key to an understanding of the social history of the Assamese peasantry. The textual content of this oral narrative underwent significant transformation over the years together with the changing political landscape of Assam and the Assamese peasant society. This essay explains the dynamics of the social origin of this oral narrative and its significance. It shows how historical imagination and social memory, mostly drawn from an Assamese rural landscape, influenced the Assamese nation building process in the twentieth century.