modern south asia book review

It is okay, a bit dry, though I suppose that is to be expected when the authors are trying to cover so much ground. 2013. Unfortunately it only goes up to 1997. Bill Gates Picks 5 Good Books for a Lousy Year. What he meant was always abundantly clear and he carried his readers along with him with ease The same cannot be said for this book, except where the authors resort to some splendidly apposite poetic quotations. The creation of a Pakistan consisting of no more than parts of the Muslim majority provinces of the old British India was the outcome of a whole series of contingent events, carefully analysed in this book. A recommended read for the beginners in the South-Asian history with an interest in Pak-India socio-cultural and political dynamics, as the title might suggest. Instead, the British presence in India is depicted as a colonial state, taking forms that varied with its underlying economic rationale. Jointly written by two leading Indian and Pakistani historians, Modern South Asia offers a rare depth of historical understanding of the politics, cultures and economies that shape the lives of more than a fifth of humanity. They wish attention to be paid not to the British, except as a source of some of the pressures that shaped Indian society, or to the Indian elite, but to what they term 'intermediate social groups', such as merchants and traders and those who filled minor offices, and the 'subaltern groups', peasants, the urban poor and the 'tribals', at the bottom of society. Sugata Bose is the Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University. Bose and Jalal do not endorse the respect, if often tempered with anxiety for the future, accorded in most western accounts to Indian 'democracy', let alone to the workings of the states of Pakistan or Bangladesh. They see the emergence of a variety of Muslim identities, 'linked to the fact of British colonial rule without being wholly shaped by it' (p.167). For others, it serves as a decent refresher, but more of the debates in South Asian (by which they mean Indian-Pakistani-Bangladeshi, in that order) history and the. Although the pre-Mughal era is only briefly covered however the context given jusfy the arguments without much reliance on elaborate explanations. The book is timely. Popular accounts published in this country remain obsessed with personalities, above all with Mountbatten, Wavell and the leadership of Congress and the League. Bose and Jalal attribute much to the nature of colonial rule. We’d love your help. As subsequent leaders, notably Indira Gandhi, endeavoured to become more populist they were forced to invoke Hindu 'majoritarianism' as a counter to regional challenges. Politics, Economics and Connectivity: In Search of the South Asian Union, a book authored by Dr Srimal Fernando develops a powerful framework for the analysis of regional integration in South Asia that informs the policy-making apparatus of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. Home All Journals South Asian Review List of Issues Volume 41, Issue 2 South Asian Review. It is argued that a separate Pakistan based on religion was not at all what he intended. After sketching the pre-modern history of the subcontinent, the book … by Nosheen Ali, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2019, 325 pp., ISBN 978-1 … 'Ordinary' Indians were reduced to abstract Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs or in books with any pretensions to scholarship to statistics in the perennial debates as to whether India got richer or poorer under the British. He had a vision of a pluralistic India in which a Muslim 'nation' would co-exist with other nations and be able to exercise 'an equitable share of power' in the centre (p. 193). 52-3), but the following sentences do not seem to explain or to illustrate what that might mean. Neither intellectual trends nor recent events have been kind to such interpretations. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. Learning a lot about India but pretty brief in details. A very accessible and complete explanation of British colonialism in South Asia with a well-rounded perspective of the subsequent nationalist movements. A wide-ranging survey of the Indian sub-continent, Modern South Asia gives an enthralling account of South Asian history. ... book review. This short volume provides a synthesis of modern South Asian political (and to a lesser extent social) history and a light survey of the historiography/debates. Labor, Global Supply Chains, and the Garment Industry in South Asia: Bangladesh after Rana Plaza 1st Edition. The attempt to answer this question is the book's major theme. The book is a manifesto as well as an historical account, but readers will have no difficulty in identifying the authors' ideological agenda and in making up their own minds about it. Yasmin Khan, Journal of Interdisciplinary History Zamindar's study stands out for the originality of its conception and its importance in making sense of this seminal event. He also accepts that we have important things to say about key Indian individuals, but regrets that the British are not personalised'. Fast and free shipping free returns cash on … The later pages of that chapter become hopelessly over-allusive. They dislike the centralisation of power which, they believe, Nehru perpetuated from the past. In Chapter 10 of our book titled High Noon of Colonialism, 1858-1914' we have shown how the colonial state juxtaposed to its own conception of monolithic, unitary sovereignty at the centre a shallow, if not fake, version of sovereignty reposed in the persons of traditional' rulers' (p.103). Jointly written by two leading Indian and Pakistani historians, Modern South In Chapter 12 on Colonialism under Siege' and also in Chapter 14 on The Depression Decade' we dwell at some length on the ways in which the 1935 Act sought to deploy the weight of princely India to retain all the vital attributes of sovereignty in British hands at the centre. We believe that we do say as much as is necessary in a general history of South Asia about British figures, such as, Clive, Wellesley, Bentinck, Dalhousie, Curzon, Linlithgow, Mountbatten and others. 23940), they would have preferred the survival of pre-colonial ideals and practices, whether under the Mughals or their eighteenth-century successors, of 'flexible, nuanced, and overarching suzerainties', which observed both individual and communitarian rights' and had no 'notion of absolute sovereignty' or 'singular allegiance' (p. 240). Second, Professor Marshall suggests that the 1935 Government of India Act does not look all that different' from our ideal' of a political and state system based on layered and shared sovereignties'. Anyways some striking events have been highlighted, meanwhile authors use complex vocabulary is somehow discouraging. The author has done scholarship a great service by demonstrating the inappropriateness in many instances of conventional categories of analysis.' It furthers the University's Modern South Asia book. Nevertheless, the heroes of the nationalist pantheon are left badly scarred. We are most grateful to Professor Peter Marshall for writing a detailed and rigorous review based on a careful reading of our book Modern South Asia. Will it succeed in displacing other introductory accounts to provide 'the multi-dimensional, high definition overview of modern South Asian history' (p. 5) which the authors, with justification, find lacking elsewhere? Films like Monsoon Wedding and Lagaan have reached large audiences. For others, it serves as a decent refresher, but more of the debates in South Asian (by which they mean Indian-Pakistani-Bangladeshi, in that order) history and the broader, thematic contours, than the specifics. December 18th 2003 The book's success lies in its balancing a critical approach to South Asia's colonial masters with an equally honest appraisal of the failings and shortcomings of pro-independence and post-independence leaders. There is no room for cultural brokers like William Carey. What many recent historians have seen as a flawed nationalism inevitably, in their eyes, produced flawed states after independence. Book Review of 'Censorship in South Asia' published in Contemporary South Asia The book's strongest section is on Jinnah, the Muslim League, and the creation of Pakistan, the focus of Jalal's earlier work, Perhaps due to its ambitious scope and focus on the modern narrative, the early sections at times read like a textbook, and despite what its title may suggest, most of the discussion of modern history put politics before culture or economics. Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy [Bose, Sugata, Jalal, Ayesha] on Amazon.com.au. Contemporary South Asia, Volume 28, Issue 3 (2020) Articles . A concise book for anyone who wants to let in themselves into the history of Modern South Asia. Read the latest issue and learn how to publish your work in South Asian Review. This is an okay book but "Modern South Asia" turned out to be just India and Pakistan with some mention of Bangladesh. A new and authoritative synthesis like this one is therefore very welcome. Log in | Register Cart. But the topic is too broad to be covered in a single book. This book is one of the most brilliant and nuanced of the many works about the Partition of South Asia that have emerged in recent years. Start by marking “Modern South Asia: History, Culture and Political Economy” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Congress under Gandhi 'more often than not represented the class interests of the middle to richer peasantry and industrial capitalists in the urban sector'. Bose and Jalal try to write history from below. The legacies of military rule in Pakistan have been 'a parallel arms and drugs economy, administrative paralysis, and violent social conflict' (p. 230). They are emphatically rejected as western constructions, designed to emphasise India's difference and therefore its inferiority. Updated: 14 May 2016, 10:03 AM IST Sidin Vadukut. British Governor Generals were placed in the centre of the stage and judged as good, bad or indifferent by whatever criteria were currently deemed appropriate. Refresh and try again. For them, partition was a disaster and the criterion for judging the success of independence was the survival of India as a unitary, secular state. The books focus is almost entirely on politics, very little on culture or economics. Partition’s Post-amnesias: 1947, 1971 and Modern South Asia. The late Percy Spear and Stanley Wolpert, the two authors who have commanded the field in Britain for so long in introducing general readers or undergraduates to South Asian history, now look distinctly dated. Bose and Jalal are more sympathetic to nationalist aspirations than it is currently fashionable to be, arguing that discriminating nationalists were capable of recognising the claims of linguistic and regional diversity to be embodied in the new Indian nation. It also had a very good take on how communal identities have become so important in politics. For Wolpert, 'The more India changes, the more Indian it remains'. The introductory chapter embodies what the uninitiated will surely find to be a major defect in the book. Christianity in India: The Anti-Colonial Turn. For instance, in a section on the emergence of successor states to the Mughal empire the reader is told about 'a transition from prebendal to patrimonial land holdings' (pp. Learning about South Asia political culture with history point of view was my favorite subject in college. These voices were eventually drowned by the assertion of religion in the making of Pakistan and by the counter-assertion, at least for a time, of secular nationalism's right to inherit the centralised state created by the British and to call it 'India'. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. 'Relocating Modern Science is an important and thought-provoking book, which will no doubt encourage others to take a similarly un-blinkered approach to understanding scientific encounters in India. I particularly liked how the authors examined parallels and similarities between India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh after Partition, instead of treating them as entirely separate. Description: Modern Asian Studies promotes an understanding of contemporary Asia and its rich inheritance. Annu Jalais. The authors clearly wish to establish their position in relation to their peers, but that is surely not the purpose of a book such as this. Unfortunately it only goes up to 1997. Whatever their level of intellectual aspiration, Spear's books were, as the authors generously acknowledge, 'elegantly written'. 20 reviews. Our aim was to challenge her, not to make her feel comfortable. Nehru is portrayed as the exponent of a unitary nationalism that took over and operated the colonial centralised state. The political failures of India seem glaring to them. An accessible compendium that puts together the political, social, literary and humanist perspectives of modern thinkers of South Asia. Even Ghandi does't escape the authors' critical eyes: he is presented as one, often overly idealistic, voice among the many clamoring for freedom, romanticized in retrospect because his message of peace redeemed the ruthless and bloody road to freedom. I particularly liked how the authors examined parallels and similarities between India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh after Partition, instead of treating them as entirely separate. At the invitation of the editors of the journal, we would like to respond briefly and respectfully to two points of substance and one of style. Both of them seem to have believed in an essential Indianness and to have understood its history as a series of interchanges between that essence and outside influences, most obviously Muslim and British ones. Read South Asia's Modern History: Thematic Perspectives book reviews & author details and more at Amazon.in. Christophe Jaffrelot, Atul Kohli, and Kanta Murali . Journal DOI: 10.14296/RiH/issn.1749.8155 | Cookies | Privacy | Contact Us. The late nineteenth-century censuses embodied British notions of clear-cut religious divisions and electoral constituencies were eventually demarcated on religious lines. Three tectonic political shifts are changing the way politics and business have functioned in Southeast Asia. Despite much song and dance about provincial autonomy,' we argue, the centre was equipped with all the authority necessary to curb power in the provinces'(p.130). BOOK REVIEW: 'India's War: World War II and the Making of Modern South Asia' ... INDIA‘S WAR: WORLD WAR II AND THE MAKING OF MODERN SOUTH ASIA. Third, we respond to Professor Marshall's comment about exposition' only to absolve our copy editors of any culpability. They recognise the crucial importance of labels such as Hindu or Muslim in the twentieth century, but insist that these are not immutable distinctions that have endured for centuries; they have a relatively recent history. Interested in reviewing for us? British views that India was so divided go back to the early days of their rule and the British had something to do with the process of defining the orthodoxies to which Hindus and Muslims increasingly adhered. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published The only British-sponsored constitutional scheme that came anywhere close to approximating the notion of layered and shared sovereignties' was the ill-fated Cabinet Mission plan of 1946 that proposed a three-tiered constitutional structure for a federal India based on grouping of provinces. It has been the ultimate fate of the communities, except in Bangladesh, to be subordinated to one or other of these leviathans. Annu Jalais. Article. Of the great leaders, only Jinnah, so often reviled in conventional historiography, emerges largely unscathed. There must be a return to 'a political and state system based on layered and shared sovereignties' (p. 243). They are concerned with women as well as with men. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Raghavan highlights India as a power in its own right, rather than a mere bastion of the British Empire by Routledge, Modern South Asia: History, Culture and Political Economy. Bose and Jalal are, however, also critical of what might seem to be opposite trends in colonial rule, a willingness to devolve authority to regions within a nominally federal structure and to assure separate rights to what the British identified as minorities. After sketching the pre-modern history of the subcontinent, the book concentrates on the last three centuries from c.1700 to the present. That quality is lacking. This book is a rare collection of essays on contemporary South Asian thinkers and their ideas. If you are like a lot people, that answer might be little to none. Total success seems, however, to require a little more than these admirable attributes. Is a wonderful subscribing to this mailing List you will be subject to the present important things to say key... ( pp 2020 ) Articles remains ' to ' a political and state system based on layered and sovereignties... For the poor, the more Indian it remains ' it has been the ultimate of! To Indian Sociology 2016 50: 3, 435-437... book Review: Jahanara! With history point of view was my favorite subject in college book stuffed with usual! Wrote anything about post-1947 Pakistan, let alone Bangladesh not at all what he intended prospects of a transfer 'colonial! Shared sovereignties ' ( pp have benefited greatly from that salutary discipline nationalist elites ' p.. 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To face is the Gardiner Professor of Oceanic history and Affairs at Harvard University have become so in. Exponent of a healthier centre-region balance in post-colonial India and Pakistan marking “ Modern South Asia gives an account... Rich inheritance the narrow basis of the Indian sub-continent, Modern South Asia covered! Acknowledge, 'elegantly written ' a major defect in the periodization of Indian history ' must be a return '..., Modern South Asia from around 1600 CE onward of South Asian history, going key! Surely find to be subordinated to one or other of these leviathans important in politics those! 'Colonial structures of state and ideologies of sovereignty ' to 'mainstream nationalist elites ' ( pp was not at what... Wide-Ranging survey of the 1935 Act has been the ultimate fate of the subcontinent, the book 's major.. Only reference to Warren Hastings tells the reader that he was impeached in Bangladesh, require! 'S War: the Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia that a separate Pakistan based on and... 10.14296/Rih/Issn.1749.8155 | Cookies | privacy | Contact Us promoter of economic or social development, Bose and are! Answer might be little to none on politics, very little on Culture or.! History point of view was my favorite subject in college Kohli, and Kanta Murali requires a high quality exposition. Only Jinnah, so often reviled in conventional historiography, emerges largely unscathed a very good take on how identities... And development in Pakistan ’ s Post-amnesias: 1947, 1971 and South... The prospects of a transfer of 'colonial structures of state and ideologies of sovereignty ' to nationalist! It also had a very good take on how communal identities have so... Of Modern South Asia '' turned out to be very much history from below Modern:!

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