INTERROGATING AND EXPLORING HINDUSTAN, BRITISH “INDIA” AND “INDIA” (1556-2000)
Date : 9 and 10 September 2010
Venue: Post-Graduate Department of History, Malda College, Malda-732101, West Bengal, India. (in collaboration with Department of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata)
Convenor: Mr. Ashim Kumar Sarkar, Coordinator, Post-Graduate Department of History, Malda College
Joint Convenor: Dr. Kaushik Chakraborty, Lecturer, Post-Graduate Department of History, Malda College
The sub-continent which is today known as “India”, historically was never identified as “India” by its inhabitants. The simple explanation is “India” is an identity created in Europe, by Europe to locate and identify a land and people alien to them. British colonial rule gave birth to a state which has been named as “India”. British “India” introduced new resource use strategy which in its turn shaped up ideas of modernity, science, development etc. After the end of the colonial rule what continued to persist after 1947 is the state of “India” with ideas of modernity, science, development etc inherited from the colonial British “India”. The Basic problems of British “India”, like poverty, unemployment, displacement, marginalisation, specially of weaker sections of the society are equally present in post 1947 India. It appears that one drawback of 19th and 20th century nationalist thought and post 1947 development planning was acceptance of British “India’s” versions of modernity, science, development without rigorous critical interrogation.
Before the creation of British “India” there existed the Mughal Hindustan. The Mughal Hindustan inherited and developed a resource use strategy from the earlier subcontinental traditions and knowledge system. In Mughal Hindustan and in its late stage there existed an idea of progress and development grew up from within the practices of indigenous knowledge system. Mughal state maintained law and order and gave birth to stability. The stable state promoted irrigation and agriculture, customary practices guided land, forest use. State patronisation of industry, specially textile gave birth to commercial capital, exchange and banking. There also grew up high quality metallurgical industry and there existed the system of indigenous medicine. There existed a customary relation between Mughal government and sub-nationalities.
This conference mainly aims, keeping in mind the development agenda of the post 1947 “India”, a critical interrogation of the development rhetoric of post 1947 “India”, British “India” and the ideas of progress/modernity and development of Mughal Hindustan(may be more earlier times). Like, long before the establishment of British “India”, Mughal Hindustan already thought about abolition of Satidaha (i.e., burning of widows) system, as narrated by Abul Fazl in his Akbarnama. Papers are welcome on aspects of economy, agriculture, environment, medicine, gender, education, communication, emerging frontiers like sports, local history, sub-nationality, ethnicity. A comparative approach of Mughal Hindustan and British “India”/post 1947 “India” will be highly appreciated. Since the conference is happening in north Bengal so papers relating to north Bengal are welcome, though not compulsory.
Send Title and Abstract (not more than 150 words) to Mr. Ashim Sarkar or Dr. Kaushik Chakraborty at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Date for Submission of Abstracts: 30 April 2010
•Last date of submission of complete article: 31st July 2010
Mr. Ashim Kumar Sarkar
Dr. Kaushik Chakraborty
Department of History, Post-Graduate Section
India Email: email@example.com
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