ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Colonial Episteme, Political Forgetting, and the Quest for Decolonising History

The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India by Manan Ahmed Asif, London: Harvard University Press, 2020; pp 321, ₹ 599.

Identity, Indigeneity and the National

In the Name of the Nation: India and Its Northeast by Sanjib Baruah, New Delhi: Navayana Publishing (by arrangement with Stanford Univ Press), 2021; pp xiii + 278, ` 599.

Fifty Years of Independent Bangladesh

The Bangladesh model shows how mutually reinforcing economic and social policies foster inclusive growth.

Recasting Politics and Reimagining Islam: Beyond Contested Nationalisms in Bangladesh

Tracing the journey of Bangladesh from a secular state to an Islamic state against the backdrop of Bangladeshi Nationalism, Samia Huq discusses the potential of Islam in the everyday public sphere in light of women’s Quranic discussion circles.

Revisiting the Bengal Delta

Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The Making of Calcutta by Debjani Bhattacharyya, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2019; South Asia Edition, 241 pages, including maps, images, index, ₹ 695.

Relative Intimacies

Described here are stories of families within the borderlands of India and Bangladesh who have kin relations on the other side of the border. They are about the continued making and maintenance of kinship ties across transnational family networks over the changing practices of border control. Officers and constables in the Indian Border Security Force, tasked with preventing all cross-border movements, recognised with sympathy the existence and emotional power of cross-border family ties. This article attempts to answer questions like what normative and emotive ideas about kin obligations and morality prevail upon individuals and families as they decide whether or not to continue investment in relations across borders. How do these sit within the larger political economy of the border itself?

Crisis of Islamist Extremism in Contemporary Bangladesh

Islamist extremism in Bangladesh emerged as a response to authoritarian populism and in the absence of a credible anti-establishment left-wing political project to articulate an alternative agenda to the existing status quo. Islamist extremists represent a politics of revenge and hatred with no clear objective to uplift the socio-economic conditions and livelihood prospects of the people.

Lost in Transition

The September 2015 Supreme Court judgment over the festering Chakma refugee issue turned the spotlight on one of the most intractable refugee issues in the history of post-independent India. Much like its first landmark verdict of 1996, this judgment also unequivocally upheld the refugees' right to Indian citizenship. Ironically, while the refugees have not benefited from the 1996 ruling over the last two decades, the verdict itself has come to attain the status of a "case law." This paper cogitates about the futility of a legal-centric approach to addressing an issue, which is deeply embedded in the complexity of state formation in modern South Asia. By unspooling the rather complex narrative of Chakmas' refugeehood and statelessness, it proposes a "solution of solidarity" approach that might help resolve what has until now proved irresolvable.

On a Bengali Dalit Autobiography

Surviving in My World: Growing Up Dalit in Bengal by Manohar Mouli Biswas, edited and translated in English by Angana Dutta and Jaideep Sarangi, Stree Samya Books, 2015; pp 150, ₹ 280.

Deepening Regional Integration

In a major bid to facilitate cross-border transportation and trade, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal signed the landmark Motor Vehicle Agreement in June 2015. Is this agreement capable of unlocking the huge trade potential of these countries and deepening regional integration in a region known to be the least integrated in the world? This note attempts to address some of these questions, reviews the salient features of the agreement and discusses the challenges involved in its implementation.

India's Role in Bangladesh's War of Independence: Humanitarianism or Self-interest?

This paper assesses India's decision to intervene militarily in Bangladesh's War of Independence in 1971. It explores the various arguments - shared ethnicity, irredentist tendencies, lack of international involvement, and the need to tip the balance of power against Pakistan - to understand the motivations behind India's apparent aggressive behaviour, as deemed by the international community at the time. By analysing the speeches of the key actors and reactions of ordinary men and women, it is argued that the lack of international interest and the heavy burden that India faced due to the 10 million refugees it hosted explain the timing of and impetus for military intervention, an action with repercussions that are experienced even today.

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