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Handcuffed to History: Narratives, Pathologies, and Violence in South Asia (Hardback)
  • Handcuffed to History: Narratives, Pathologies, and Violence in South Asia (Hardback)
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Handcuffed to History: Narratives, Pathologies, and Violence in South Asia (Hardback)

(author)
£67.00
Hardback 216 Pages / Published: 28/02/2001
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Ethnic and religious rivalries are major sources of conflict in South Asia and interpretations of the past are integral parts of the conflict. Udayakumar and his contributors provide a careful and comprehensive analysis of the interface between history writing, identity constructions, and intergroup relations. Providing a range of theoretical deliberations, they examine specific South Asian conflicts such as the Kashmir issue, Hindu-Muslim conflict, Sinhalese-Tamil strife, and the human rights struggles of oppressed castes. With a view to understanding the ethnic and religious rivalries that have come to be a major source of conflict in South Asia, Udayakumar and his contributors analyze the interface between interpretations of the past, identity construction practices, and intergroup relations. With general theoretical perspectives, contributors help to explain the various ethnic conflicts in South Asia and other parts of the world. The role of history, narratives, and violent pathologies in those conflicts are also explained. Some of the most prominent South Asian conflicts such as the Kashmir decision, Ramjanmabhumi temple, and historicity of caste system in India and the first comer controversy in Sri Lanka are analyzed in detail. One of the major conclusions reached is that there is an element of bigotry in certain historiographies and these bigoted histories and ethnic/religious histrionics build on and contribute to each other and thrive in certain environments. Elevating this debate to a more political level, the essays highlight the role of human agency in the decision to remain handcuffed to bigoted histories or to be more aware and struggle for new beginnings. They also examine the prospects and possible means of negating the unity of history and metanarratives (with their characteristic pathologies and violence) and proliferating many histories told from diverse perspectives. This book is a stimulating collection for scholars, students, and researchers dealing with South Asian history as well as current ethnic, political, and military tensions in the region.

Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9780275968434
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 489 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Udayakumar should be applauded for the fresh perspective which he and his collegues infuse into the commonly-held beliefs and academically acclaimed teachings which are rampant in India today, an India which still is extremely Hinducentric and decidedly prejudiced towards Muslim influences in history and the intrinsic nature of Islam itself. His portrayals of wraped events and distorted intentions are chilling in their implications of the bloody past of the Subcontinent: much, if not all, of the bloodshed was for naught. However, he is clearly showing those with the power to shape the future direction that they must become avid pupils of history, carefully wading through its dark and murkey depths, and take heed of the lessons which can be learned from the myriad confustions of the past....Udayakumar is, in short, lucidly proclaiming that one should not be handcuffed by history, although one will always be linked to it."-Journal of Third World Studies
"The compilation is remarkable in its breadth of topics and the depth at which the contributors have gone to make thier case. And surely it is a rich contribution the efforts to understand the conflicts in South Asia."-Frontline
?The compilation is remarkable in its breadth of topics and the depth at which the contributors have gone to make thier case. And surely it is a rich contribution the efforts to understand the conflicts in South Asia.?-Frontline
?Udayakumar should be applauded for the fresh perspective which he and his collegues infuse into the commonly-held beliefs and academically acclaimed teachings which are rampant in India today, an India which still is extremely Hinducentric and decidedly prejudiced towards Muslim influences in history and the intrinsic nature of Islam itself. His portrayals of wraped events and distorted intentions are chilling in their implications of the bloody past of the Subcontinent: much, if not all, of the bloodshed was for naught. However, he is clearly showing those with the power to shape the future direction that they must become avid pupils of history, carefully wading through its dark and murkey depths, and take heed of the lessons which can be learned from the myriad confustions of the past....Udayakumar is, in short, lucidly proclaiming that one should not be handcuffed by history, although one will always be linked to it.?-Journal of Third World Studies
"It is difficult to think of a better collection of authors to help unlock South Asia's contemporary mangle of culture, space, power, and history."-Itty Abraham Author of The Making of the Indian Atomic Bomb
"This book is of interest to all who seek to understand the violence-prone, tangled tales of South Asian history in order to discover ways out of their contemporary deadly consequences."-Glenn D. Paige Professor Emeritus of Political Science University of Hawaii
"This book on communalism is indeed very much needed. Communalism is a major problem and it needs to be understood in all its complexity. History and its interpretation has played a very major role in communalising the minds of Indian people on both sides of the communal divide. This book is a very important contribution and should come out as early as possible."-Asghar Ali Engineer Chairman Center for Study of Society and Secularism
"How do we understand South Asia, that complex, charged and mythologized realm, one that exists as much on paper and in imaginations as it does in densely and diversely populated geographic space? Handcuffed to History offers a superb set of essays, each one by an outstanding scholar, that addresses these issues--issues made all the more complex by the charged environment in which the region struggles to assert competing identities."-Frederick M. Asher Professor and Chair Department of Art History University of Minnesota/President, American Institute of Indian Studies
"Drawing upon a wide range of historiographic perspectives, this book probes the increasingly important problem of communalism in several nations of South Asia. The authors provide sophisticated analyses of the social construction of group identity and of the policies by which dominant elites, drawing on such constructions, seek to maintain their privileged status and to marginalize all others. The work has important implications for the formulation of domestic and foreign policy and for initiating needed policy reform."-Joseph E. Schwartzberg Professor of Geography and South Asian Studies University of Minnesota
"In the wake of the Babri Masjid debacle the role of history in the imaginary' of South Asia has become an increasingly urgent concern. The volume examines the extent to which history is constructed, interpreted, or real, ' focusing particularly on the tendency of modern nation--states to monumentalize' a certain image of the past for strategic purposes. Only by facing up to the pathologies of the past, it is argued, can the handcuffs' of history, if not be removed, at least be rendered manageable and transparent."-Fred Dallmayr Packey J. Dee Professor of Government and International Studies University of Notre Dame

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