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Invoking the Past: The Uses of History in South Asia

Daud Ali (Author)
Synopsis The essays in this volume reflect on an undeniably important form of knowledge: history. They explore the variety of 'uses' of history in South Asia. Colonial and nationalist themes occupy the first two sections of the book, which take up topics like the racialization of history and its political appropriation for right and left-wing agendas, as well as the nationalist and Hindutva recasting of the past by Indologists, scientists, doctors and travel-writers. The final section focuses on a wide range of precolonial materials, from Sanskritic uses of the past in the theory of mixed castes to Sri Lankan and north Indian debates about religious community and history from Mughal imperial pasts to south Indian innovations. This section reveals a complexity of traditions rarely acknowledged by those who attribute history to the coming of modernity.The essays in this volume alert us to the problem of the shifting significance and place of the past at different moments in the history of South Asia. They also suggest the need for a more nuanced and sustained examination of the often stereotypical attributes of precolonial, colonial, and nationalist history.
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About the author

Daud Ali

Daud Ali is Senior Lecturer in Early Indian History, Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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Bibliographic information

Title Invoking the Past: The Uses of History in South Asia
Author Daud Ali
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1999
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195649788
length xii+399p., 22cm.
Subjects History