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

Colonial IndiaSubscribe to Colonial India

Striving for Begumpura: Traversing the Intellectual Activism of Gail Omvedt

​Writer, researcher, life-long fellow traveller of the progressive movements and long-time author with the Economic & Political Weekly, Gail Omvedt passed away on 25 August 2021. In this reading list, we present some of the highlights of her scholarship published in EPW.

Concept of Development and Hegemonic World Order

Erasing the Binary Distinction of Developed and Underdeveloped: A Comparative Study of the Emergence of the Large-scale Steel Industry in Imperial Russia, Imperial Britain, Imperial America, and Colonial India, 1880–1914 by Vinay Bahl, US: Shunya, 2019; pp 417, price not indicated.

Territory as Political Technology

Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir marks an important moment to reflect on how imagined territories determine everyday life as well as shape political realities.

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.

Constructing Hijras as Colonial Subjects

Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India: The Hijra, c 1850–1900 by Jessica Hinchy, Cambridge, New York, Port Melbourne, New Delhi and Singapore: Cambridge University Press, 2019; pp xviii + 305, price not indicated.

Family, State, and Ideal Populations

Reproductive Politics and the Making of Modern India by Mytheli Sreenivas, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2021; pp 274, ` 2,250 .

Polity, Policy, and the Economy of Salt in Manipur circa 1826–1947

While the traditional production of spherical flat salt chunks through the evaporation of saline water from salt wells dates back to the ancient history of Manipur, notions of salt monopolies and salt as a revenue source evolved during the colonial period in Manipur. The British became involved in local politics and took control of the fiscal policy of the state. Under them, the quantum of salt produced reduced, and salt production itself became more expensive. This paper studies how British business practices, and, later on, an uninterested state government, caused the self-reliant salt economy to become a dependent one.

Past Continuous

In the early 20th century, when K M Munshi was making a name for himself in the literary and cultural sphere of Gujarat, he was both intervening in and departing from the past. Curating elements of the past that suited his equally curated modernity, Munshi exemplifies many connections that become evident of Gujarat in the subsequent years. In this paper, we ask: “What was Munshi’s past?” In other words, whom was he responding to from the 19th century? The period of our inquiry in Munshi’s life is the one that witnessed the famous Patan trilogy. The questions are situated in both cultural history and literature.

Chugging into Unfamiliar Stations

Tracks of Change: Railways and Everyday Life in Colonial India by Ritika Prasad; New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2015; pp ix+315, Rs 795, hardback.

Elephant Hunting in Late 19th Century North-East India

This paper explores the interaction between state and society in the management of the elephant as a strategic natural resource in late 19th century north-east India. The management of strategic natural resources aided the British in the task of empire-building. Protective legislation laid down the broad parameters within which a regime of control could function efficiently and effectively. Yet control over various strategic natural resources was far from being â??directâ?? in the complete sense of the word; rather it was contested, often in subtle ways, and negotiated at different levels. Micro-level history of the kind this paper has sought to depict serves to highlight the intricate character of natural resource control by the colonial state.

Representations of Empire

Colonial India and the Making of Empire Cinema: Image, Ideology and Identity by Prem Chowdhry; Vistaar Publications, New Delhi, 2001; pp 294, Rs 450.

Revisiting the Exchange Standard, 1898-1913

So far in this essay on Revisiting the Exchange Standard we have examined the views and pronouncements of the authorities in relation to facts, economic principles, and other reliable views. This has often yielded a more objective account. This part - on Prices, is different. There is the government resolution on the enquiry into prices, and the views of a government statistician and a few economists of some repute, down to 2001; two of them just did not confront the problem. They also stumbled, strangely, on the basic promises of the new standard, and on the unique structure and management of India's external accounts when this has long ceased to be a mystique. Coyajee wrote in 1930, evincing no regard for hard data. Keynes and Austin Chamberlain buried the issue of Prices, by their stony silence. We shall make some amends in Part IV, to view these matters analytically, and in a longer term perspective.

Pages

Back to Top