What India means may elicit different answers from people today. The answers that might have been given a thousand, two thousand or three thousand years ago would have been possibly quite different.
This volume explores how notions of India have grown: even as a geographical expression the notion (under whatever name) took time to form. Political factors and cultural diffusion both helped in the formation. Nor is the role of outsiders in looking at India as country with some identifiable features of custom, belief, and language, to be ignored.
The different contributions in this volume bring out how the idea of India has changed as Indian civilization has developed and received various cultural streams. The contributors also essay the issue of India's transformation into a nation under the stresses generated by the colonial conquest, resistance and the influx of modern ideas. The volume closes with discussions how the future of the nation was conceived in the past and what message this has for the people of India today.
About the Author:
Irfan Habib, formerly Professor of History at Aligarh Muslim University, is a well-known historian and author of The Agrarian System of Mughal India 1556-1707 (1963; second rev. edn. 1999), An Atlas of the Mughal Empire (1982), and Essays in Indian History: Towards a Marxist Perception (1995). He is also the author of Prehistory (2001), the first in a series of monographs on a People’s History of India, to be published successively under the auspices of the Aligarh Historians Society.