Between Our Shelves
MARRYING FOR A FUTURE: TRANSNATIONAL SRI LANKAN TAMIL MARRIAGES IN THE SHADOW OF WAR
Sidharthan Maunaguru, University of Washington Press, 2019
The civil war between the Sri Lankan state and Tamil militants, which ended in 2009, lasted more than three decades and led to mass migration, mainly to India, Canada, England, and continental Europe. In Marrying for a Future, Sidharthan Maunaguru argues that the social institution of marriage has emerged as a critical means of building alliances between dispersed segments of Tamil communities, allowing scattered groups to reunite across national borders. Maunaguru explores how these fragmented communities were rekindled by connections fostered by key participants in and elements of the marriage process, such as wedding photographers, marriage brokers, legal documents, and transit places.
Marrying for a Future contributes to transnational and diaspora marriage studies by looking at the temporary spaces through which migrants and refugees travel in addition to their home and host countries. It provides a new conceptual framework for studies on kinship and marriage and addresses a community that has been separated across borders as a result of war.
A REPUBLIC IN THE MAKING, INDIA IN THE 1950s
Gyanesh Kudaisya, Oxford University Press, 2017
This work takes a critical look at India in the 1950s, a momentous decade in its contemporary history. It looks at the colossal challenges which India faced in its years after Independence and conveys a sense of the hopes and aspirations, dilemmas and anxieties of its political leadership. It considers the key ideas, paths, and trajectories which were articulated in these years and have left an enduring imprint upon the Republic's fabric as we know it today. The values and personalities from that decade continue to remain a frame of reference, a benchmark for public life in present-day India.
The narrative on the 1950s is woven around certain key themes: the manner in which India moved away from conditions of disorder and turmoil to deal with the 'unfinished business' of Partition; the cartographic reconstruction of India as a political space; the uncertain journey of its democratic institutions; the crafting of inclusive citizenship amidst the ambiguities and anxieties surrounding the minorities; and finally, the audacious project of economic self-reliance through development planning and land reforms.
Presented as a broad-brush canvas, rather than a micro-history of the 1950s, this work offers insights into how India came to be transformed in critical ways to anchor itself as a resilient, democratic polity, increasingly coming to terms with societal diversity and heterogeneity. It shall be useful to those interested in unraveling the trails and tracks of India's exciting journey in its formative decade as a new nation.
NATION AT PLAY: A HISTORY OF SPORT IN INDIA
Ronojoy Sen, Columbia University Press, 2015
Reaching as far back as ancient times, Ronojoy Sen pairs a novel history of India's engagement with sport and a probing analysis of its cultural and political development under monarchy and colonialism, and as an independent nation. Some sports that originated in India have fallen out of favor, while others, such as cricket, have been adopted and made wholly India's own. Sen's innovative project casts sport less as a natural expression of human competition than as an instructive practice reflecting a unique play with power, morality, aesthetics, identity, and money.
Sen follows the transformation of sport from an elite, kingly pastime to a national obsession tied to colonialism, nationalism, and free market liberalization. He pays special attention to two modern phenomena: the dominance of cricket in the Indian consciousness and the chronic failure of a billion-strong nation to compete successfully in international sporting competitions, such as the Olympics. Innovatively incorporating examples from popular media and other unconventional sources, Sen not only captures the political nature of sport in India but also reveals the patterns of patronage, clientage, and institutionalization that have bound this diverse nation together for centuries.
INDIAN AND CHINESE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES
Edited by Jayati Bhattacharya and Coonoor Kripalani, Anthem-ISEAS, 2015
This interdisciplinary collection of essays offers a window onto the overseas Indian and Chinese communities in Asia. Contributors discuss the interactive role of the cultural and religious ‘other’, the diasporic absorption of local beliefs and customs, and the practical business networks and operational mechanisms unique to these communities. Growing out of an international workshop organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore and the Centre of Asian Studies at the University of Hong Kong, this volume explores material, cultural and imaginative features of the immigrant communities and brings together these two important communities within a comparative framework.
BEYOND THE MYTH
Jayati Bhattacharya, ISEAS, 2011
This book is a macro-study of Indian business communities in Singapore through different phases of their growth since colonial times. It goes beyond the conventional labour-history approach to study Indian immigrants to Southeast Asia, both in terms of themselves and their connections with the peoples' movements. It looks at how Indian business communities negotiated with others in the environments in which they found themselves and adapted to them in novel ways. It especially brings into focus the patterns and integration of the Indian networks in the large-scale transnational flows of capital, one of the least-studied aspects of the diaspora history in this part of the world. The complexities and overlapping interests of different groups of traders and businessmen form an interesting study of various aspects of these trading bodies, their methods of operation and their trade links, both within and outside Singapore. The book also charts their mobility and progress, in terms of both business and social status. The research aims to construct linear threads of linkages through generations and situate them in the larger framework and broader paradigms of business networks in Singapore.
In shedding light on aspects of Indian connectivities to Southeast Asia, the narrative is particularly relevant in the context of India's economic rise. This study raises economic, social and cultural issues regarding the transition.