My ‘magnum opus…’

  The few who have been following my blog, over the last 15 years, I have shared a lot on history, historiography, its politics and its pedagogies. All these have now been brought together as a book. It was long overdue. It’s a pretty long book and I suppose intense at many levels.  I present a summary here which I muse can also be seen as a précis of all my posts and also the shifts in my evolution as a history teacher and an eternal student of social sciences. I have always been deeply engaged and responding to issues and tumults in all domains of our socialisation in this site.  - - - - - - - - - History, representations of past and its textbooks have remained mired in controversies. Notwithstanding certain nuances and differences, broadly two visions jostle to inform our understanding of history. One is the left and so called liberal version in which India is construed as a modern imagination which was brought to life in the course of the freedom struggle. Second is the Indic view

Compelling but skewed - critiquing an instance of ‘popular’ histories

In recent years one sees certain kind of publications on our past. Written in engaging prose, attempts to resurrect our understanding of history in very fascinating ways is being made where these books might not truly represent new scholarship but they base their works more researched studies by historians with greater academic credentials. And of course they obviously do their key research as well but I’m not sure the extent, depth and scope of their direct engagement with primary sources. In itself, the researched monographs and papers on aspects as varied as state formation, social change, art, architecture, religion etc by more famed historians and scholars are often written in language and prose that can induce somnolence to all, other than those dedicated full time to research and academia. Works of Burton Stein, R Champakalakshmi, Y Subbarayulu…anyone for the afternoon weekend? That’s where works by the likes of Ira Mukhoty, William Dalrymple or Manu Pillai come in. They bring i