12. Book Review

Photography as Ethics: Images, Spectatorship and the Optics of Humanitarian Suffering   Ariella Azoulay, The Civil Contract of Photography, translated by Rela Mazali and Ruvik Danieli, New York: Zone Books, 2008.   Anindita Nag  

11. ‘Sharir’, ‘Shanto Chele’, ‘Svalpo Bidya’: Rajnarayan Basu and his Perception on Education

‘Sharir’, ‘Shanto Chele’, ‘Svalpo Bidya’: Rajnarayan Basu and his Perception on Education   Anwesha Sengupta   This study attempts to read the text Se Kal Ar E Kal and understand the dominant ideas of Rajnarayan Basu. It tries to historicize these ideas and comment on its pertinence, consistency, and the translation of these ideas into action. Using the tropes of sharir (body), shanto chele (good boy) and svalpo bidya (half-baked knowledge), Rajnarayan’s stand on the issue of education is contextualized and the extent to which his perception was novel, explored. A close reading of this text thereby reveals that although […]

10. Ideological Crisis and Strategy Formulation: Politics of the CPI, 1947 – 1952

Ideological Crisis and Strategy Formulation: Politics of the CPI, 1947 – 1952   Chandan Basu   The communist movement fell into deep crisis in India immediately after independence in 1947. This crisis lasted for nearly five years up to 1952, when there was some sort of internal compromises and suppression of ideological differences for time being within the Leninist structure of the Communist Party of India (hereafter CPI). This period was significantly critical not only in the history of the left, but also in the history of the newly liberated post-colonial State of India. The period under review witnessed the […]

09. Littoral Memories and British Hierarchies of Belonging: ‘Lascar’ Struggles and Working Class British History

Littoral Memories and British Hierarchies of Belonging: ‘Lascar’ Struggles and Working Class British History   Georgie Wemyss   This paper aims to foreground the histories of colonial Indian seafarers’ struggles at sea and on shore in order to demonstrate how their past and present invisibility impacts on notions of ‘belonging’ in twenty-first century multicultural Britain. It begins with an explanation of the meanings and significance of the littoral and liminal spaces in which seafarers lived to the working conditions, resistances and recorded histories of those men. That is followed by an introduction to a framework for the analysis of historical […]

08. A River Called Titas: Environment-induced Forced Migration in the Margins of Colonial Bengal

A River Called Titas: Environment-induced Forced Migration in the Margins of Colonial Bengal   Rup Kumar Barman    Migration of people from the place of origin to alien land, from village to town, from one region to other region, and from one country to another country on socioeconomic, political and cultural grounds is a common trend in human society throughout the ages across the world. There are two broad classifications among the migrants. While the people of first group migrate voluntarily from the place of their origin without being motivated by any external or internal force, the people of the […]

07. The River and the Raiders: Bengal, c. 1600—1800

The River and the Raiders: Bengal, c. 1600—1800                                            Gargi Chattopadhyay   The benevolent Bhagirathi-Hugli of the Ganga river system in the western Bengal, could turn into the worst annihilator by bringing about floods, land encroachments, facilitating retreating bed, hair pin bends and loops, obstructions in the bed, pollution and disease. This article attempts to explore the binary aspects of the river in the context of the two places situated along its bank. It is depicted vis-a-vis the destructive inroads of the Maghs and Firangis in Sagor at the delta where the river was the bringer of the scourge and […]

06. The Phoenix Syndrome: Natural Catastrophes in American History and Culture

The Phoenix Syndrome: Natural Catastrophes in American History and Culture   Christof Mauch   Since the colonial period Americans have seen themselves as the “chosen people” and their nation as the “promised land.” Given this background, preachers of the seventeenth century were already confronted with the challenge of explaining why a people that was led by the invisible hand of God should suffer under natural catastrophes. Indeed, nowhere in the world are the costs incurred by natural disasters so high as they are in the USA. There is no disaster, it seems, which does not occur somewhere in the country: […]

05. Emergence of Local Lineages as Rulers in Eastern India in the Post-Gupta Period

Emergence of Local Lineages as Rulers in Eastern India in the Post-Gupta Period  (c. 5th century A.D. – c.7th century A.D.)   Kakoli Tah Dutta   The period under discussion is a very crucial one in the History of India from every point of view. The period acted as a transition phase, as an important demarcating line in Indian History. The imperial Gupta Empire was a synthesis of centralized bureaucracy and local authority and it rested on the rise of a prosperous bourgeois class following the unprecedented growth of trade, industry and commerce. But it could hardly introduce any substantial […]

04. Editorial Note

The current issue of Journal of History is being published in an electronic form. We regret the delayed appearance as a consequence of this transformation. This is a departure in the history of the journal and we will continue to follow a paperless, online route in the future. The issue is devoted to articles on international and local history. Themes of environment, cultural representation, text and context, ruling dynasties, labour, forced migration and memory are explored. Kakoli Tah Datta traces the emergence of local ruling dynasties in Eastern India during the post-Gupta period. Christof Mauch offers a pioneering understanding of […]