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South Asian History and Culture 2010 - Vol. 1,3

South Asian History and Culture
South Asian History and Culture / Editorial Board: David Washbrook [u.a.]. - Vol. 1. - London [u.a.] : Routledge, 2010
ISSN 1947-2501 (electronic), 1947-2498 (paper)
URL: Taylor and Francis: South Asian History and Culture

Inhalt: Vol. 1,3 (July 2010)
Brian Stoddart:
Water, land, language and politics in coastal Andhra, 1850-1925, S. 341-356
DOI: 10.1080/19472498.2010.485375
Abstract: When East India Company directors in the 1840s approved construction of the Kistna-Godavari irrigation scheme in south-east India, they could scarcely have imagined the huge social, economic and political changes it would bring to coastal Andhra. The politics of water and land as it emerged in the following decades involved transforming the area's outlook on local aspirations, regional connections, opportunities created because of prosperity and attitude towards the prevailing political condition. These changes would shape the trajectory of Andhra's evolution up to and beyond independence in 1947, and still have resonance and influence in the contemporary state.

Sanjay Joshi:
Contesting histories and nationalist geographies: a comparison of school textbooks in India and Pakistan, S. 357-377
DOI: 10.1080/19472498.2010.485379
Abstract: This article examines selected high school textbooks from India and Pakistan to see how they craft two different histories out of a shared past. Central to this endeavour, the article suggests, is the device of placing the two nations' histories within differently imagined geographies. Indian textbooks represent the naturalness of India through a geography and cartography first created in the colonial era. Influences from outside of these 'natural' boundaries are deemed to be 'foreign' to Indian history or culture. Pakistan's imagined geography is different. Underplaying subcontinental links, Pakistani textbooks stress the 'natural' affinities of Pakistan with the Islamic world. Ultimately, such nationalist geographies teach students in India and Pakistan - who may live no more than fifty miles away from each other and whose grandparents may well have lived together as neighbours - to imagine themselves as not only the inheritors of different pasts, but as inhabiting different geographical spaces.

Angma Jhala:
The Jodhpur regency: princely education, politics and gender in post-colonial India, S. 378-396
DOI: 10.1080/19472498.2010.485380
Abstract: In 1952, Maharani Krishna Kumari of Jodhpur was widowed at the untimely age of 26, and her son, the heir apparent Gaj Singh II, was only 4 years old. Although the princely states had nominally lapsed after 1947, Krishna Kumari was inaugurated as regent during her son's minority, following a policy that had long been practised by Indian royal families. She would subsequently oversee his education during the 1950s and 1960s, adroitly using the counsel of her male relations and engaging in a sophisticated dialogue with the new government of India. Her regency would ensure a strong foundation for her son's future prominence in democratic India. This article analyses the oft-disregarded role of gender and family in the case of a post-colonial princely dynasty, and in the long run the fabric of the Indian nation.

Rochona Majumdar:
Marriage, family, and property in India: the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, S. 397-415
DOI: 10.1080/19472498.2010.485381
Abstract: The Hindu Succession Act of 1956, one of the first laws relating to property and family enacted by the newly independent government of India, remains in the final analysis an anti-women piece of legislation. This article explores the reasons that forced the hand of the new post-colonial state in that direction. There had been, from the early nineteenth century, a small but influential section of Indian reformers who had argued in favour of granting property rights to women: wives, widows and married daughters. Dr B.R. Ambedkar, one of the chief framers of the Hindu Code Bills, of which the Succession Act was part, as well as Jawaharlal Nehru, the country's first prime minister, were also strong proponents of women's property rights. Why then were their endeavours defeated in the final legislation? Through an analysis of the debates around the Hindu Succession Act, I argue that the anti-woman nature of the law was inextricably linked to the modernization of Indian families. The latter did not necessarily imply a move from the extended family to nuclear structures or from non-contractual to contractual bonds between individuals. It entailed other kinds of changes and adjustments, often from extended to joint families. The centrality of the family has important implications for thinking about the history of modern property and the propertied subject in the Indian context.

Nissim Mannathukkaren:
Media terror! Understanding television and the media in India in the context of '26/11', S. 416-434
DOI: 10.1080/19472498.2010.485384
Abstract: The terror attacks on Mumbai in 2008 were one of the worst that India faced in recent years. The horror that it evoked was heightened all the more because it was a 'live' event on television. Its spectacular nature seemed to resemble many 'media events' like the Gulf Wars and '9/11'. Thus it can be seen to affirm postmodern interpretations, which argue that media does not simply reflect reality but constitutes a new reality altogether. This article will argue that nevertheless the simulated and mediated aspects of reality do not tell us the entire story; it is important to understand the forces and structures which are driving society towards such simulations. While the media raised important criticisms of the Indian state and the political class for their role in the tragedy, it ignored its own role in maintaining the dominant social order. The increasingly simulated nature of reality thus hides many important truths like the partial nature of reality portrayed by the media and the increasing concentration of ownership in media. In short, it draws attentions away from erosion of the concept of press as the fourth estate.

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