Articles on history, largely focussed on India, published on
The India Forum
The Many-Faced Afterlife of 1947
Partition remains a living memory and an unfinished history; an irreparable rupture whose afterlife warrants scrutiny. If we are to continue remembering Partition we must do so as a portent or…
Radio broadcasting in colonial and early post colonial South Asia blurred borders of established authority and stimulated rumour, gossip, and conversation, despite technical constraints and state…
The Aeroplane in India
A conversation with Aashique Ahmed Iqbal, historian and author of The Aeroplane and the Making of Modern India, on India's early experiments with flying, why we haven't mastered…
The India Forum
The Political Necessity of the Licence-Permit Raj
Industrial licencing established a framework through which newly independent India could spearhead development, and was not necessarily tied to socialism. This explains why it was generally accepted…
The Other Side of Paradise
A war-ravaged country torn apart by militancy and poverty; Afghanistan is now a textbook example of a failed state. But the region was once home to a civilisation that was muse to the great Persian…
Cleansing the Past, Creating the Future? Do (History) Books Matter?
Deletions in the NCERT introductory textbook for history indicate that the slightest allusion to respect for social and cultural differences as an ideal is considered irrelevant.
History in the Service of Hindutva
For Savarkar, history was a critical tool in a war to protect the Hindu nation. A new book examines the relationship between history and politics in Savarkar's thought and braids together the…
An Elegy for Gandhi’s Un-Gandhian India
When you retrace Gandhi’s steps to Dandi you get to understand what ‘vikas’ means and what it does not mean for Gujarat and for all of India today. A most unusual book about a most unusual journey.
How to Trap a Cheetah (And Why You Shouldn’t Have)
Cheetahs were highly prized in medieval and colonial India. They were trapped to meet the demand from royalty, a practice that continued well into the 19th century, leading to their ultimate…
Was India the Mother of Democracy?
There are claims that the roots of democratic institutions can be found in ancient India. Studies have shown that such institutions have existed not only in India but also in other parts of the world…