Indian Economic & Social History Review (Indian Econ Soc Hist Rev )

Publisher: Delhi School of Economics, SAGE Publications


Indian Economic & Social History Review focuses on the history, economy and society of India and South Asia, and includes comparative studies of world development.

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  • 5-year impact
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  • Article influence
  • Website
    Indian Economic & Social History Review website
  • Other titles
    The Indian economic and social history review
  • ISSN
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  • Material type
    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

SAGE Publications

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    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
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    • 12 months embargo
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    • On author website, repository and PubMed Central
    • On author's personal web site
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Post-print version with changes from referees comments can be used
    • "as published" final version with layout and copy-editing changes cannot be archived but can be used on secure institutional intranet
    • If funding agency rules apply, authors may use SAGE open to comply
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pratik Chakrabarti, Materials and Medicine: Trade, Conquest, and Therapeutics in the Eighteenth Century, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2010, pp. 259.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):381-383.
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    ABSTRACT: Karuna Mantena, Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010, pp. 269.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):385-388.
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    ABSTRACT: D.R. Nagaraj, The Flaming Feet and Other Essays: The Dalit Movement in India, ed. Prithvi Datta and Chandra Shobhi, Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2010, pp. 254.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):390-393.
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    ABSTRACT: Christian Lee Novetzke, History, Bhakti, and Public Memory: Namdev in Religious and Secular Traditions, Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2009, pp. 309.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):383-385.
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    ABSTRACT: Ravi Vasudevan, The Melodramatic Public: Film Form and Spectatorship in Indian Cinema, Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2010, pp. 457.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):388-390.
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    ABSTRACT: Sandhya Sharma, Literature Culture and History in Mughal North India 1550–1800, New Delhi: Primus Books, 2011, pp. 241.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):373-375.
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    ABSTRACT: Extant scholarship on Jwarasur [the Fever-Demon] sees him as a colonial-era invention tied to the exigencies of colonial rule. Jwarasur is held to belong exclusively to the domain of Bengali ‘folk medicine’ rather than ‘classical Ayurveda’. We challenge both these contentions and draw four inter-related inferences. First, we posit that Jwarasur was not alien to classical Ayurvedic medicine. Second, we claim that Jwarasur was significant to the way Ayurvedic physicians negotiated fever. Third, we trace the invention of the folk/classical divide under colonial modernity. Finally, we posit that the divide inspired new reading strategies through which modernising Ayurvedists sought to expunge the transmateriality of Jwarasur. Jwarasur, we find, was constantly re-embedded into multiple heterogeneous traditions of medical and religio-moral practice. These diverse embeddings actively militate against the existence of any corpuscular ‘systems’ called ‘folk’ or ‘classical’ medicine. Rather Jwarasur is a common figure that networks a number of heterogeneous, amorphous domains. The extant disciplinary protocols of History, Anthropology, etc., however, are blind to this networked past and hence keep alive the colonial distinctions of ‘folk’ and ‘classical’. Our critical history contrapuntally, seeks to restore the promiscuity of these corpuscular fields and historicise the divisions that distinguish them.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):261-288.
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    ABSTRACT: Shonaleeka Kaul, Imagining the Urban: Sanskrit and the City in Early India, Delhi: Permanent Black, 2010, pp. 278.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):365-368.
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    ABSTRACT: James Beattie, Empire and Environmental Anxiety: Health, Science, Art and Conservation in South Asia and Australasia, 1800–1920, London: Palgrave, 2011. pp. 320.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):375-378.
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    ABSTRACT: A.R. Venkatachalapathy, The Province of the Book: Scholars, Scribes, and Scribblers in Colonial Tamilnadu, Delhi: Permanent Black, 2012, pp. 292.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):368-371.
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    ABSTRACT: Racial controls on Indian migration to the British Dominions can explain only some features of the compulsory passport regime as it crystallised in India during the Great War. The streaming of population movement across India’s borders was shaped by regional geo-political imperatives as well. While race issues certainly haunted the Indian intelligentsia’s stance on border management, its positions were also shaped by the class and gender parameters in which it cast citizenship. Both the colonial regime and the Indian intelligentsia conceived of the passport, for different reasons, not just as a document of identity and nationality but also as a civic testimonial which only some kinds of Indians were qualified to hold. Behind the seeming homogeneity of the ‘international’ form of the passport were accommodations to ‘local’ colonial protocols of recording and attesting identity, and keeping ‘undesirables’ under surveillance. However the new British Indian passport regime bore some trace also of the trans-national constituencies which intervened in the new order of travel being shaped by the Euro-American world.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):289-315.
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    ABSTRACT: Y. Subbarayalu, South India Under the Cholas, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 274.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):371-373.
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    ABSTRACT: Late nineteenth–early twentieth century Punjab has been commonly regarded as a space for ‘competitive communalism’ whereby each of the province’s major religious communities participated in activities that increased hostilities between the communities. Such an assertion has been substantiated with reference to an increasing number of publications that were quickly deemed offensive to one or the other religious community of the Punjab and then banned. This article examines the controversies following the publication of one such pamphlet ‘Rangila Rasul’. These ultimately necessitated the addition of section 295A to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a section that would punish those who, ‘with deliberate and malicious intention,’ insulted or attempted to insult ‘religious beliefs’ of any class of His Majesty’s subjects. Reading contemporary newspaper commentaries alongside debates in the legislative assembly, I show that legislators were able to rise above the interests of their religious communities (as Hindu or Muslim publicists) to speak for a larger putative ‘Indian’ community, collective, or nation. Far from being a textbook example of communalism, the debates bring into sharp relief an alternate moment in the making of an ‘Indian’ nation.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):317-340.
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    ABSTRACT: This article tracks the rise and fall of criminal jury in colonial India through official and non-official debates, discussions and interventions. The discussion on criminal juries in the Anglo-American system has typically focused on the division of legal labour between judge and jury. In colonial India, this conventional difference between ‘law’ and ‘fact’ were shaped by notions of belonging to a different race, religion and language. These were frequently articulated as the story of the ‘unreliable’ juror or the ‘religious’ native who feared eternal damnation. From the jurors who were allegedly intoxicated by the publicity over the infamous Nanavati trial to women jurors who claimed to be followed on the way home from court, to the religious Brahmin juror who would not swear an oath, the story of the criminal jury is peopled with anxieties over undesirable forms of influence, that impinge on legal impartiality. Using the criminal jury as a lens, I look at the claims of universal legal reform as particularly lending themselves to contestations over sovereignty.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):341-363.
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    ABSTRACT: G. Balachandran, Globalizing Labour: Indian Seafarers and World Shipping, c.1870–1945, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 318.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 07/2013; 50(3):378-380.
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    ABSTRACT: The articles in this issue contribute to a paradigm shift in our approaches to historical discourse in precolonial South Asia. Rather than posing again the well-worn question of whether the Rājataraṅgiṇī should be considered a properly ‘historical’ text or a work of poetry, they focus on the complex and often hybrid sytlistic, thematic and aesthetic ‘lineages’ of the text, to understand how Kalhaṇa was able to articulate a unique vision of the past—and one that created the space for further iterations in later times. This final article seeks to at least partly test the value of such an approach through a similar examination of largely contemporaneous materials from Western India. Long noted for its peculiar combination of tantalising historical detail with magical elements and chronological anachronisms, the prabandha literature of Gujarat has recently been interpreted as an expression of a ‘Jain’ approach to kingship, morality and biography. Without denying this obvious connection, this article approaches the prabandhas by contexualising them against the wider background of temporalities and narrational styles in Sanskrit literature. It argues that the peculiar conventions of prabandha literature in Western India may best be explained through the interaction of distinctive narrative traditions and temporal orientations in Sanskrit writing that may have broad parallels in Kashmir’s literary history.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 04/2013; 50(2):237-259.
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    ABSTRACT: This article considers the implications of Kalhaṇa’s statement that in his great poetic history ‘śāntarasa rules supreme’. Kalhaṇa’s identification of the emotional mood he seeks to cultivate has often been noted, but its implications for Kalhaṇa’s historical vision have seldom been discussed in depth. In framing the aesthetic content of his work in terms of śāntarasa, the aestheticised emotion of ‘quiescence’, Kalhaṇa links it with the only śāntarasa poem acknowledged by the poeticians of Kashmir at the time—the Mahābhārata. The Mahābhārata is the great canonical example of such a poem, first discussed as such by Ānandavardhana in his Dhvanyāloka. On Ānandavardhana’s reading, the Mahābhārata is to be seen as a śāntarasa text because, through the lamentable ends to which even the ‘victors’ in its cataclysmic war are reduced, it inculcates despair with all worldly endeavour, inducing readers to turn instead to the path of renunciation. By explicitly invoking śāntarasa, Kalhaṇa places both the Mahābhārata and Kashmiri aestheticians’ discourse on it in the background of his own narrative, particularly his treatment of moral decay—the way even ‘good’ kings regularly go bad and the most promising political endeavours lead only to decay, loss and despair.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 04/2013; 50(2):179-199.
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    ABSTRACT: Kalhana’s Rajatarangini and its Sanskrit continuations are usually regarded as sui generis—unique historical compositions in a landscape otherwise barren of historical production in Kashmir and South Asia. As a result, the Persian tarikhs that followed them are dismissed as unhistorical imitations of these texts. This article approaches the Persian historical tradition in Kashmir from the perspective of the multilayered engagement between Persian tarikhs and their Sanskrit predecessors. Through an examination of three Persian tarikhs composed in seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth-century Kashmir, it argues that far from blindly translating the Rajatarangini narratives, the tarikhs were in active dialogue with the Sanskrit texts as they articulated their own ideas about the meaning and purpose of historical narration. By placing themselves within a long tradition of historical composition in Kashmir, the Persian narratives not only acquired legitimacy, but also redefined the tradition itself.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 04/2013; 50(2):201-219.
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    ABSTRACT: This article is self-consciously framed as a hypothesis, a suggestion of how we might go about the work of understanding Kalhaṇa’s Rājataraṅgiṇī (RT), as well as certain other works of Kashmirian Sanskrit. I propose that Kalhaṇa’s poem be understood as the crowning achievement of a local literary form which I term the Kashmirian ślokakathā. After a brief review of the style’s major diagnostic features, I analyse a passage drawn from the earliest extant example of the ślokakathā, Abhinanda’s Kādambarīkathāsāra, a reworking of Bāṇa’s influential seventh century prose romance. Turning to Kalhaṇa, I show the instantiation of the ślokakathā style in the RT and his particular authorial impress upon it; in particular, I suggest that Kalhaṇa modulates his reliance on the diagnostic ślokakathā features over the course of his poem, the density of which increases as the events narrated grow closer to the poet’s lifetime. Finally and most speculatively, I suggest that this increasing density (and difficulty) of Kalhaṇa’s verse suggests a connection between the RT’s stylistic realisation and his implicitly articulated theory of the nature of history and that this in turn supplies a lens through which we may view the fraught question of Kalhaṇa’s authorial project in a new way.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 04/2013; 50(2):131-160.
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    ABSTRACT: This article focuses on the relationship between Śrīvara’s fifteenth century Jainataraṅgiṇī and Kalhaṇa’s twelfth century Rājataraṅgiṇī. Writing in the court of Sultan Zayn ul-‘Ābidīn, Śrīvara relies on Kalhaṇa’s work as the literary and theoretical model for the Jainataraṅgiṇī, but proceeds to adapt the form to reflect needs specific to a sort of biography of Zayn. I show that Śrīvara carefully orders and rearranges the events of the Sultan’s life in order to create a narrative that largely follows the aesthetic and moral expectations articulated in Kalhaṇa’s earlier Rājataraṅgiṇī. Yet despite Śrivara’s attempts to make his own work philosophically conformable to that of his predecessor, the historiographical background implicit in the Jainataraṅgiṇī shows subtle shifts in conceptions of royal representation and the agency of fate. I argue that these shifts provide important clues to understand the specific moment in Kashmiri political and literary history made possible by a unique relationship between patron and poet. Śrīvara’s Jainataraṅgiṇī shows the elastic possibilities of the Rājataraṅgiṇī form as it operates in the vastly changed political and social circumstances of Sultanate Kashmir.
    Indian Economic & Social History Review 04/2013; 50(2):221-236.

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