Don't Judge the Past through the Eyes of the Present
It would be wrong to use present-day norms to label certain historical events as crimes. If we must judge the past, it should be in relation to its time, rather than our present.
Play. Stop. Rewind. Record.
"We were, in many ways, coached into listening—casually, closely, intimately, itinerantly—by the cassette tape. It made sound available to us beyond broadcast radio, and allowed us to curate our…
Experiments in Education: The early years of Visva Bharati and Dacca University
In 1921, Bengal witnessed the foundation of two universities: Visva Bharati and Dacca. The early years of the institutions give us a portrait of two unique models of education, learning, and pedagogy.
Kaustubh Mani Sengupta
Guru, Spy, or Lost Archduke?
Was John Orth a self-proclaimed ‘guru’ in the US in the early 20th century, or a one-time rug-dealer suspected of being a Russian spy, or perhaps the Austro-Hungarian archduke Johann Salvator himself…
India’s Princes, the Ingenious Rebels against the Crown
India’s maharajahs during colonial rule were much more than the stereotypes we have of profligate spenders and incompetent rulers. They were complicated personalities who could subtly resist imperial…
Manu S. Pillai
A History of Ordinary People in France
‘How a family lived in their ordinariness for three centuries, and the mode of telling this story throws light on the "big events" in France from the pre-revolutionary era to the French…
Cultural motifs of the Sikhs' ‘conquest’ of Delhi animate the art and music of the farmers’ movement. Memories of defiance and triumph, juxtaposed with images of the protests, inspire the…
The Himalayas have been a zone of global interactions and exchanges over the centuries, quite unlike the stereotype of remoteness and isolation.
Misreading the Past
A new undergraduate history curriculum reduces the complexity of the past to simplistic ideas of religious difference. The official promotion of such ahistorical thinking adds weight to the project…
The Cultural Unity of the Deccan Plateau, 1347–1687
Between the 14th and 17th centuries, the states of the Deccan drew on the same resources to base their authority -- the memory of the prestigious Chalukyas maharajas of Kalyana, and the prestige…
Richard M. Eaton