ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reflections on the Disciplinary Credibility of Business History

Can a change of nomenclature generate a new approach that may help reconceptualise the story, the history of Indian business? Business studies must take the archive much more seriously than it does, not as an inert repository of facts, and engage with the historical method with much greater rigour. Unless the practice and protocols of history writing are considered seriously and their location understood, it would be impossible for business history to have the productive conversation that it seeks.

 

India’s Civilisational Identity and the World Order

As the neo-liberal world order declines, non-Western powers are uniquely equipped to manage the power transition and contestations over the basic tenets of the emerging system. India’s civilisational ethos of reconciling different ideas will be of immense value in navigating the uncertainty and turmoil at a critical juncture of world history.

Narrating an Epic Life

Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914–1948 by Ramachandra Guha, Gurgaon: Penguin Allen Lane, 2018; pp xx + 1129, ₹ 999.

 

A Man of Ideas and a Woman with a Sense of Power

Intertwined Lives: P N Haksar and Indira Gandhi by Jairam Ramesh, New Delhi: Simon and Schuster, 2018; pp xvi + 518, ₹ 799.

 

Past and Present

The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200–2000 by Cynthia Talbot, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017; pp 316, $99.99.

History of Popular Calcutta

Claiming the City: Protest, Crime and Scandals in Colonial Calcutta, c 1860–1920 by Anindita Ghosh, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016; pp 340,  995.

Continuities between Ancient and Contemporary India

The Idea of Ancient India: Essays on Religion, Politics and Archaeology by Upinder Singh, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2016; pp 439 (hardback), 1,250.

The Work of Theory

Tackling the question of how to recalibrate the relationship between history and theory in our favour without falling into the trap of either an unqualified universalism or a naïve historicism, this article proposes that we move from the position of being a critic of Western theory to that of being a composer and assembler of a new theory from different sources and different histories.

Tribal History sans Contemporary Politics

Narratives from the Margins: Aspects of Adivasi History in India edited by Sanjukta Das Gupta and Raj Sekhar Basu; New Delhi: Primus Books, 2012; pp 312, ₹995.

Historiography of Oceans

Oceans Connect: Reflections on Water Worlds across Time and Space edited by Rila Mukherjee (Delhi: Primus Books), 2013; pp xvi + 286, Rs 995.

Understanding Madrasas

The modern madrasas established during colonial times aimed to guard the private sphere of Muslims from modernist intrusions and within the private sphere they engaged in hegemonic representation of the Muslim masses. Contemporary madrasas continue to use the colonial dichotomy of public and private spheres to resist state intrusions in their pursuit of a particular kind of religious education. Introducing modern education in madrasas would defeat their very purpose.

Economic History and Postmodern Theory

Postmodernism questions the possibility of narratives of 'progress' in the sphere of culture, a position that disagrees with economists' faith in economic progress in which cultural change plays a large role. This fundamental incompatibility has made economic history uncomfortable for historians, and led to a breach between economics and history. Can this rift be repaired?

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