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

Articles by Tirthankar RoySubscribe to Tirthankar Roy

Rediscovering the Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean Bullion for Goods: European and Indian Merchants in the Indian Ocean Trade 1500-1800 by Om Prakash; Manohar, Delhi, 2004;
TIRTHANKAR ROY This volume republishes 21 essays by Om Prakash, eminent historian of early modern trade in the Indian Ocean, and one of the key architects of this field of scholarship. The essays were written between 1964 and 2002, over a long and productive engagement with the field. Quite a few of these first appeared in edited books, and are not easily accessible to students. Whereas the earlier essays are rather more specialised, some of the recently written ones display a grand vision of the Asian commercial world that is synoptic and yet complex and richly detailed. Some of the specialised essays, such as

A Grand Narrative

The Oxford History of Indian Business by Dwijendra Tripathi; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2004;
TIRTHANKAR ROY Anyone with more than a passing interest in Indian business will welcome this work from Dwijendra Tripathi, the doyen of business history scholarship in India. An account of

Enduring Vision

briefly and uneasily toying with Hindu Enduring Vision pride, firmly rejected it. The religious route Rabindranath Tagore: A Biography by Uma Das Gupta; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2004; pp xii+104, Rs 225.

Economic History of India

Malthusian crises, but innovations that Economic History of India enable successful labour-absorption. In A Restatement TIRTHANKAR ROY The two responses to my article on the state of economic history discourse in India, by Andr

Economic History:An Endangered Discipline

The dominant paradigm guiding research in economic history held that the market-oriented policies of British colonial rule led India to underdevelopment and poverty. In the past, the idea appealed to economists because it provided independent India's pursuit of socialist policies with an ideological basis. After the return to market in the 1990s, the compatibility between history and policy was undermined leading to progressive irrelevance of history. In order to restore the link between history and economics, we need to replace narratives centred on colonial power with narratives that take structural features, especially resource-endowments, more seriously.

Back to Class

Back to Class Does Class Matter? Colonial Capital and Workers

Handmade in India

In recent years, Indian handicrafts have emerged as a major exportable, illustrating the potential that these apparently obsolete technologies possess for meeting new kinds of consumer demand. And yet, the potential remains vastly underutilised, given the myriad problems on the supply and demand side. This paper gives a brief overview of craft production and marketing in India, examines why the potential has not so far been realised and discusses some interventions.

Commanding Scholarship

The World of the Indian Ocean Merchant 1500-1800: Collected Essays of Ashin Das Gupta, Compiled by Uma Das Gupta; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2001; pp xiv + 511, Rs 695.

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?

Famines and State-Making in Colonial India

Famines and State-Making in Colonial India Famine, Philanthropy and the Colonial State: North India in the Early Nineteenth Century by Sanjay Sharma; Oxford University Press (SOAS Studies on South Asia), Delhi, 2001; pp xviii+256, Rs 550.

Subaltern Studies: Questioning the Basics

Reading Subaltern Studies: Critical History, Contested Meaning and the Globalisation of South Asia edited by David Ludden; Permanent Black, Delhi, 2001; pp 442, Rs 695.


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