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Harbans Mukhia

History Written in Its Entirety

Revisiting Marc Bloch’s Feudal Society

The Annales historical tradition has had little impact on Indian historiography despite being a major influence on the way the discipline of history is understood as well as practised in most parts of the world. This article engages with one of the foundational texts of Annales historiography on the occasion of its republication in India and suggests, through examples, a different method of doing history.

Perishing Memory

The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed: Unravelling the 1947 Tragedy through Secret British Reports and First Person Accounts by Ishtiaq Ahmed (New Delhi: Rupa and Company), 2011; pp liv + 754, Rs 995.

Liberal Democracy and Its Slippages

In some important ways, human history has been a site for repeated assertion of egalitarian urges, manifest in religious, as well as secular ideologies. On the other hand, individual acquisitiveness in the context of socialised production has resulted in encompassing inequalities, yet this has been the driving force for change. Karl Marx envisaged an alternative in the abolition of private property and complete socialisation of production and distribution of wealth, he also visualised technology increasingly displacing human labour in the process of economic production. While his latter vision is coming true in some measure, the substitution of the denial of the self for society as motor for production has proved a disaster. Does the experience, however, terminate the search for an alternative to personal acquisition as the guide for economic and social development?