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

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Politics of Planning in Post-independent Bangladesh

Untranquil Days: Nation Building in Post-Liberation Bangladesh by Rehman Sobhan, New Delhi: Sage, 2021; pp 384, ` 444.

End of the Postcolonial State

Much of the scholarship on Bangladesh’s founding places it within a narrative of repetition. It either repeats the partitions of 1905 or 1947 or the creation of India and Pakistan as postcolonial states. This paper argues instead for the novelty of Bangladesh’s creation against the postcolonial state, suggesting that it opened up a new history at the global level in which decolonisation was replaced by civil war as the founding narrative for new states.

Beyond the Break with the Past

In the 1940s, Bengali Muslim intellectuals sought to find a new autonomy in a comprehensive break with the texts and language of the Hindu-dominated literature of the “Bengal Renaissance.” But within a few years of Pakistan’s founding, a new generation argued that disavowing the past was not...

Collision amid Collusion and Cooperation

This paper examines the history of largely understudied women’s rights activists in the early years of East Pakistan. While they collided with West Pakistani activists—and the central state—on matters of culture, identity, and political and economic issues, they actively cooperated with West Pakistani counterparts to fight gender discrimination and to demand reform in women’s rights from the state.

Dhaka 1969

A reading of 1969, the momentous year of protests against Ayub Khan’s dictatorship in East Pakistan is offered, going beyond the popular tropes of inevitability and loss. The moments when Bengali nationalism exceeded its own expectations by making michhil or procession its main focus are identified. A rumination on Dhaka, which found its present cultural and political identity through the upheaval of the 1960s is presented.

Independence, Freedom, Liberation

The idea of swadhinata (which translates as both freedom and independence), along with a novel conception of liberation (mukti), animated the founding discourse of Bangladesh in 1971. This paper explores how these ideas, and their longer histories, jostled together to shape the promise of Bangladesh’s founding. It also reflects on how the conflictual promise of 1971 underwrote the political history of post-independence Bangladesh.

Colonial Episteme, Political Forgetting, and the Quest for Decolonising History

The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India by Manan Ahmed Asif, London: Harvard University Press, 2020; pp 321, ₹ 599.

Identity, Indigeneity and the National

In the Name of the Nation: India and Its Northeast by Sanjib Baruah, New Delhi: Navayana Publishing (by arrangement with Stanford Univ Press), 2021; pp xiii + 278, ` 599.

Fifty Years of Independent Bangladesh

The Bangladesh model shows how mutually reinforcing economic and social policies foster inclusive growth.

Recasting Politics and Reimagining Islam: Beyond Contested Nationalisms in Bangladesh

Tracing the journey of Bangladesh from a secular state to an Islamic state against the backdrop of Bangladeshi Nationalism, Samia Huq discusses the potential of Islam in the everyday public sphere in light of women’s Quranic discussion circles.

Revisiting the Bengal Delta

Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The Making of Calcutta by Debjani Bhattacharyya, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2019; South Asia Edition, 241 pages, including maps, images, index, ₹ 695.

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