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Indian Cultures as Heritage: Contemporary Pasts

 
Romila Thapar (Author)
Synopsis

Every society has its cultures: the patterns of how people live and express themselves, and how they value objects and thoughts. What constitutes Indian heritage and cultures has been much discussed. Romila Thapar begins by explaining how the definitions of the concept of culture have changed since the last three centuries, and hence require added attention. Cultures when defined by drawing on selected items and thoughts from the past, remain relatively unknown, except to a few. Yet each has a context and meaning relating them to the past and to their significance as a contemporary presence. Contexts, often regarded as unconnected to culture, can to the contrary, be quite illuminating. Thapar touches on a few of these, ranging from objects that identify cultures, to ideas that shape cultures, such as social discrimination, the role of women, and attitudes to science and knowledge. Thought-provoking books such as this spark debate, and the debate may lay to rest some current shibboleths about India’s culture.

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About the author
In the spotlight

Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar was born in India in 1931 and comes from a Punjabi family, spending her early years in various parts of India. She took her first degree from Punjab University and her doctorate from London University. She was appointed to a Readership at Delhi University and subsequently to the Chair in Ancient Indian History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where she is now Emeritus Professor in History. Romila Thapar is also an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and has been Visiting Professor at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania as well as the College de France in Paris. In 1983 she was elected General President of the Indian History Congress and in 1999 a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. Among her publications are Ashoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations, From Lineage to State, History and Beyond, Sakuntala: Texts, Readings, Histories and Cultural Pasts: Essays on Indian History as well the children's book Indian Tales.

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Bibliographic information

Title Indian Cultures as Heritage: Contemporary Pasts
Author Romila Thapar
Format Hardcover
Date published: 21.03.2018
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Aleph Book Company
Language: English
isbn 9789384067359
length 262p.
Subjects History