Friday, October 07, 2011

Cultural Myopia

Why is it that most of the scholarly work in Indian Social Sciences arena, actually originates from outside the country? Is anything new and original coming out of our own universities?

Perhaps a more recent and popular example of this is William Darlymple's book, "The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty" - a research on the events leading up to the bloody conflicts of 1857. This piece of work is almost entirely based on documents that had been gathering dust in the National Archives of India for a few centuries - until Darlymple and his research team used it to demolish popular myths and re-write history.

Here is a collection of other acclaimed research, which I hope to read one by one:

Hardgrave, Robert L. (1970): The Nadars of Tamil Nadu (Amazon)

Jeffery, Robin (1994): The Decline of Nair Dominance: The Society and Politics of Travancore, 1847-1908, Manohar (at Google Books, and Amazon)

Ito, Shoji (1966): A Note on the Business Combine in India with Special Reference to the Nattukotal Chettiars, The Developing Economies, Vol IV, No.3, Sept., 1966, p.369 (Link to citation here)

Markovits, Claude (2004): The Global World of Indian Merchants, 1750-1947:  Traders of Sind from Bukhara to Panama (Google Books

Osella, Caroline and Osella, Filippo (2000): Social Mobility in Kerala : Modernity and Identity in Conflict (Book on the Ezhava Community in Kerala), Pluto (Amazon)

Stein, Burton (1989): 'Vijayanagara'. The New Cambridge History of India, Cambridge University Press (Amazon)


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