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Subalterns and Raj: South Asia since 1600

Subalterns and Raj: South Asia since 1600 [Kindle Edition]

Crispin Bates
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'A remarkable accomplishment – a survey that is very accessible but nevertheless thoughtful, deeply argumentative, and marked by several critical insights ... The book is remarkably appropriate as a provocation with which to teach modern South Asia history.'Journal of Asian Studies

Product Description


Subalterns and Raj presents a unique introductory history of India with an account that begins before the period of British rule, and pursues the continuities within that history up to the present day. Its coverage ranges from Mughal India to post-independence Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with a focus on the ‘ordinary’ people of India and South Asia.

Subalterns and Raj examines overlooked issues in Indian social history and highlights controversies between historians. Taking an iconoclastic approach to the elites of South Asia since independence, it is critical of the colonial regime that went before them.

This book is a stimulating and controversial read and, with a detailed guide to further reading and end-of-chapter bibliographies, it is an excellent guide for all students of the Indian subcontinent.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4255 KB
  • Print Length: 422 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 041521484X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge (16 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #654,637 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Crispin Bates is a Professor of Modern and Contemporary South Asian History in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and Director of the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His publications include Subalterns and Raj: South Asia since 1600 (2007); Beyond Representation: Constructions of Identity in Colonial and Postcolonial India (2005); and (with Subho Basu) Rethinking Indian Political Institutions (2005). Between 2006 and 2008 he was the Principal Investigator in a major AHRC-funded research project concerning the great Indian Uprising of 1857. Professor Bates is the lead editor of a landmark seven-volume series resulting from this project entitled 'Mutiny at the Margins' published by Sage in 2013-14. He has most recently co-edited with Alpa Shah a volume entitled Savage Attack: tribal insurgency in India, published by Social Science Press (New Delhi). The volume combines anthropological and historical perspectives on a problem of pressing contemporary importance. He is currently researching a book concerning 19th century labour migration within India and overseas.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most useful introductory text on offer 18 Nov 2007
I teach several university courses on South Asia, and this new survey is proving extremely popular with students. The simple reason, I think, is that it is very intuitively structured.

An introductory chapter lays out key aspects of South Asia's richly diverse and multi-layered society and culture, managing to offer anthropological as well as historical perspectives without either overwhelming or patronising the general reader. This is a considerable achievement given the complexity of the subject matter, and it is accomplished without shying-away from contentious aspects of South Asian life and history - instead treating them sensitively and refreshingly straightforwardly.

The bulk of the book then takes the reader from the last decades of the Mughal Empire, through the period of British colonial rule, movements of resistance, Independence, partition and post-colonial India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - all the way into the present century. Part of the book's mission is to tease out the role of ordinary people in South Asian history, particularly where resistance to colonial rule - and then to some of the less successful forms of post-colonial rule - is concerned. This has been a central concern in South Asian scholarship for quite a while now but a general survey that carries on through 1947 and Independence rather than making it an ending or starting point is valuable indeed - not least since so many of South Asia's current political and social challanges have important origins or catalysts in the pre-colonial and colonial periods.
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Subalterns and Raj: South Asia Since 1600
In his current book Crispin Bates offers a timely and profoundly refreshing study of modern South Asian history. It starts in 1600 with the history and culture of the Indian Subcontinent with an application of Subalternity and reaches to the point of the `divide' and revival of national and inter-state relations in the region. Initial part of the book is composed of the general view of South Asia. It concentrates on anthropological, political and historical perspectives of the time given in a narrative form. Than the decline of the Mughal Empire and the Uprising of 1857 are discussed in a new way of arguments and analysis. More than two-third of the book is on 20th century freedom struggle and the post-partition history of South Asian countries.
Bates shows how Mughal India with its historical forms and local manifestations of empire interacted and eventually declined with the change in the mid nineteenth century. He gives very interesting but absolutely new reasons of the outbreak of the Mutiny war of 1857. According to him, when Ranjit Sing was defeated in 1840, his Seikh regiment of 15,000 troops was incorporated into the British Army. However, prior to 1857, when the British took over the Kingdom of Awadh, they did not recruit the army of the king in a similar manner. They disbanded all 50,000 of the King's troops, effectively dispersing large numbers of aggrieved trained soldiers over the entire region (p.67). Such a large number of trained but alienated soldiers became a solid reason of a widespread civil as well as military insurrection of 1957.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommendable! 15 April 2011
I can only concur with the other reviews. This is a comprehensive and very well-written introduction to modern South Asian history and an excellent guide for students - whether or not they have any previous knowledge of the subject. With university library resources being increasingly scarce, this is a very important investment. For undergraduate courses I would recommend this over Metcalf and Metcalf as it provides copious referenes to the most important (and most recent) secondary literature - with Bates' book as a starting point most students would be able to navigate the historiography in an independent manner.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book 18 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not as useful a book as I expected. Still has some uses but is far too general and not nearly specific enough.
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