History in the Vernacular
edited by RAZIUDDIN AQUIL and PARTHA CHATTERJEE
Was there history writing in India before the British? Looking closely at vernacular contexts and traditions of historical production, this book questions the assumption that there was no history writing in India before colonialism. It suggests that careful readings reveal distinctly indigenous historical narratives. These narratives may be embedded within non-historical literary genres, such as poems, ballads, and works within the itihasa-purana tradition, but they are marked by discursive signs that allow them to be recognized as historical.
Vernacular history traditions in Assam, Bengal, the North-East, Kerala, the Andhra-Tamil region, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh are examined here with fresh archival material and new insights, making this a valuable book for historians, sociologists, and South Asianists.
RAZIUDDIN AQUIL is a reader in history at the University of Delhi. PARTHA CHATTERJEE's several books include A Princely Impostor? The Kumar of Bhawal and the Secret History of Indian Nationalism (Permanent Black paperback).
Paperback / 512pp / Rs 495 / ISBN 81-7824-225-7 / July 2010