Recording the Progress of Indian History — Symposia Papers of the Indian History Congress 1992-2010: Edited by S.Z.H. Jafri; Primus Books, Virat Bhavan, Mukherjee Nagar Commercial Complex, Delhi-110009.
This book comprising papers presented at the annual symposia of the Indian History Congress introduces ground-breaking research from a number of top Indian scholars. It makes a notable advancement in the fields of history and archaeology. It is arranged thematically under sections People and Environment; Language Change, Education and Transmission of Knowledge; Gender History; Caste, Class and Social History; Facets of our Cultural Past; Money and Social Change; State in Indian History; and Towards Freedom, all subjects that are central to the study of history in India. In their examination of primary data from a variety of sources, the contributors have pioneered inquiry into various historical themes that have come to attract scholarly attention. In turn, they have also provided frameworks and offered fresh insights on various dimensions of Indian History.
The purpose of the lectures at the symposia was to investigate emerging new trends in historical studies and to explore the frontiers of debates, issues and interpretations in the study of history. Many of the papers presented at the symposia proved to be popular among the members of the Congress and attending delegates, as a significant number dealt with current debates and important trends in history writing.
Defragmenting India — Riding a Bullet through the Gathering Storm: Harish Nambiar; Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd., B1/I-1 Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, Mathura Road, New Delhi-110044. Rs. 350.
The book is an account of the various fault lines of Indian society quivering in the temblors that the 2002 Hindu-Muslim communal riots of Gujarat sent across the nation. The riots form the backdrop to the travelogue narrative of a motorbike trip of the author and his friend. It maps the urban consciousness of India by juxtaposing lives, issues and situations of the educated and the uneducated, craftsman and conservationist, teacher and businessman, daughters and drunks from small towns and non-metro cities of India.
The narrative uses oral history, folklore, local legends, historical events, research papers, imaginative speculations, biographic anecdotes and graphic reportage in an elliptical and poetic narrative to weave a picture of a country in flux. It analyses various fragmenting and defragmenting impulses in the lives of men and women caught in the flitting shadows that the riots in Gujarat threw across the country.