India - Studies in the History of an Idea

India - Studies in the History of an Idea

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Item Code: IDE108
Author: Ed. By. Irfan Habib
Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 8121511526
Pages: 280
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.8" X 5.8"
Weight 500 gm

 

From the Jacket:

 

What India means may elicit different answers from people today. The answers that might have been given a thousand, tow thousand or three thousand years ago would have been possibly quite different. This volume explores how notions of India have grown: even as a geographical expression the notion (under whatever name) took time to form. Political factors and cultural diffusion both helped in the formation. Nor is the role of outsiders in looking at India as country with some identifiable features of custom, belief, and language, to be ignored. The different contributions in this volume bring out how the idea of India has changed as Indian civilization has developed and received various cultural streams. The contributors also essay the issue of India's transformation into a nation under the stresses generated by the colonial conquest, resistance and the influx of modern ideas. The volume closes with discussions how the future of the nation was conceived in the past and what message this has for the people of India today.

 

About the Author:

 

The editor of this volume, Irfan Habib, was formerly Professor of History at Aligarh Muslim University, and is author of Agrarian System of Mughal Empire, An Atlas of the Mughal Empire and Essays in Indian History: Towards a Marxist Perception. He is currently editing A People's History of India four parts of which have been published.

Preface
The idea of India is a phrase of relatively recent use- much credit for this being due to Sunil Khilnani- but the substance of it has an old history. This volume is, first, about how the notion originated and evolved in the minds of both its own inhabitants and outsiders, and about what it conveyed to them in terms of geography and civilization traits. The substance of the notions of India altered too as Indian culture itself evolved and its own contours changed. The volume is, therefore, concerned with how from being a country, whether as an essentially geographical expression or as a cultural entity, India become, or came to be regarded as, a nation. Finally, it touches on the contesting visions of the India of the future, developed within and outside the National Movement.

The Aligarh Historians Society asked a number of distinguished scholars to contribute papers on the different aspects of the theme. These papers were presented and discussed at a panel organized by the Society at the Guru Nank Dev University, Amritsar, and 28-30 December 2002. Professor Irfan Habib, who has edited the volume, contributes an introduction which, in its earlier version, had been presented as a key- note address at the panel.

The panel and the publication of the volume have been supported by grants from the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi, and the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai.

I should like to thank all contributors to the volume for their willing cooperation and for sending us their revised versions.

I am most grateful to my old friend, Mr. P.N Sahay, for compiling the index, which we hope reader will find convenient.

Mr. Muneeruddin Khan has processed the final press-copy, while Mr. Arshad Ali has kept our records and accounts. Mr. Idris Beg has carried out other onerous duties.

Mr Devendra Jain of Messrs Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers has placed us greatly in his debt by agreeing to publish the volume.

CONTENTS

 

  Preface vii
  Contributors ix
1. India: Country and Nation - An Introductory Essay
IRFAN HABIB
1
2. The Earliest Notions of India: 'Meluhha' in Mesopotamian Records
SHEREEN RATNAGAR
19
3. Names for India in Ancient Indian Texts and Inscriptions
ISHRAT ALAM
36
4. Ideas of India in Ancient Greek Literature
UDAI PRAKASH ARORA
45
5. Hiuen Tsiang's India
J.S. GREWAL
60
6. Evolution of a Regional Identity: Kerala in India
KESAVAN VELUTHAT
82
7. Concepts of India: Expanding Horizons in Early Medieval Arabic and Persian Writing
IMTIAZ AHMAD
98
8. Concepts of India in Alberuni
IQIDAR ALAM KHAN
110
9. The Idea of India in Amir Khusrau
SYED ALI NADEEM REZAVI
121
10. The Monetary Integration of India under the Mughal Empire
NAJAF HAIDER
129
11. Seventeenth-Century India as Seen by the Dutch
OM PRAKASH
144
12. Francois Bernier's Idea of India
ANIRUDDHA RAY
159
13. The Vision of a Free India in the Bengal Renaissance
GAUTAM CHATTOPADHYAY
186
14. Swami Dayanand's Aryavarta
INDU BANGA
195
15. A Juster India for Women - The Thought and Work of Pandita Ramabai and Rameshwari Nehru
KAMLESH MOHAN
204
16. India as "Hindusthan": Elements of the Ideological Structure of Hindu Communalism
MRIDULA MUKHERJEE
232
17. Nehru's Economic Vision for India: The Road to Fulfilment
ADITYA MUKHERJEE
244
  Index 262

 

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