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

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A Made to Order Election

postponed for nearly 20 years). As recorded in the settlement report of D Brookman (the then revenue minister of Jodhpur state), the officer went to the extent of suggesting that the small irrigation dams or tanks constructed earlier should also be broken up, because of their harmful consequences. The extent of fertile lands rendered waste (due to rise of salinity) in the command areas of some of those dams was reported (in 1917-18) LETTERS TO EDITOR M N SRINIVAS states the obvious when he claims to be 'only a social anthroplogist/sociologist' (April 8, pp 739-40). Rut the obvious does not constitute the whole. The distinction between historical sociology and social history is, after all, but slender. "Social Change in Modern India" is basically concerned with historical sociology/ social history. And its weakness, to my mind, emerges from the incipience of researches in modern Indian social history. Having utilised the scanty, and by no means very sound, historical' literature to provide a conceptual framework to the study of modern Indian social history, Srinivas has initiated, willy-nilly, a trend which practitioners of historical sociology/social history are beginning to follow, Whatever its possible consequences, this development is symptomatic of an enlarging two-way traffic between scholars of historical sociology/social history in India. The one provides the data and the other uses it to theorise; the data and the theorisation interact, and .significantly affect the writing of both history and historical sociology. This may be a sad commentary on the conceptual poverty of the Indian historian as also on the methodological ease inducing the Indian sociologist to make a virtue of leaving the original sources to the historian. But this is true.

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