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Against History, Against State: Counterperspectives from the Margins

Shail Mayaram (Author)
Synopsis This pioneering study explores the Meo community through their oral tradition, revealing sophisticated modes of collective memory and self-governance. It reveals the remarkable complexity and resilience of a transgressive culture that has survived on the margins of Hinduism and Islam. Reassessing conventional South Asian historiography from a subaltern perspective, Against History, Against State examines how conceptions of history and memory clash. For nearly a millennium, the Meos of north India-one of the largest Muslim populations in South Asia-endured a succession of oppressive regimes: the Arabs in the eighth century, the Mughal empire, regional Rajput kingdoms, and British imperialism. By creating an alternative record’ of their past through songs and stories, the Meos were able to successfully retain a degree of cultural sovereignty. But their quest for autonomy was stigmatized, even criminalized, while histories-written by the ruling elite-transformed ethnic prejudice into historical fact.
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About the author

Shail Mayaram

Shail Mayaram is Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. She is the author of Against History, Against State: Counterperspectives from the Margins (2003) and Resisting Regimes: Myth, Memory and the Shaping of a Muslim Identity (1997).

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Bibliographic information

Title Against History, Against State: Counterperspectives from the Margins
Author Shail Mayaram
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Permanent Black
Language: English
isbn 8178241528
length xxii+316p., Tables; Figures; Plates; Notes; Bibliography; Index; 22cm.
Subjects History