"`Subcontinental Histories' is an exploration of the historical events of the last
two centuries, interpreted here through literary texts-fiction, poetry and drama - works
which move away from the immediacy of history to analyse it in retrospect. They represent
the individual voices, the restlessness and discontent as well as the fissures in the idea
of a nation. Documents such as letters, speeches and newspaper articles, similarly offer a
different view of reality when freed from the immediacy of the exploration.
The subcontinent has a shared past both of the colonial experience and the resistance
movements it generated, and of the many efforts to imagine and construct a nation.
Beginning with India's past and the many causalities of ideas and ideologies on the way to
freedom, the present work goes on to look at the aftermath of divisive nationalism leading
to the partition of the country, before moving to the many manifestations of terror in
India and its neighbouring countries, the race for nuclear weapons and environmental
Several writers and thinkers of this period have been discussed - Jotiba Phule, Henry
Derozio, Rabindranath Tagore, Bankimchandra, Mahatma Gandhi, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Kazi Nasurl
Islam, Pash, Kamila Shamsie, Girish Karnad, Shahid Nadeem, Badal Sircar, Intizar Husain,
Saadat Hasan Manto, Attia Hosain, Allan Sealy, Nadeem Aslam, Githa Hariharan, Mumtaz
Shahnawaz - to enable a dialogue betweenthe past and the present.
This work opens up the past to a rethinking and reassessment of events that have
moulded our times and need to be interrogated."