This book delves into varied aspects of the history of Bengal and North east situated within a time frame of more than a hundred years, from the colonial times to the present. The individual essays deal with ideas, literary texts, politics, gender, industries, culture, health, sports and tribal issues relevant to these regions.
Probing health issues in the colonial period the volume also explains the development of the modern coal industry on the one hand and the survival of the traditional potter’s craft on the other. The significance of traditional healing practices is dwelt upon as also the question of female health and dissemination of knowledge. The pen-picture of the happenings at the bathing ghat reveals the vibrant rural social life of the times. The modernization of the theatre gives a glimpse into the cultural ethos. The institutionalization of sports is examined. Analysis of contemporary cinema throws light on the perception of a woman’s position in society. As the reader travels from Bengal to the North-East, the impact of missionary activities on tribal life is revealed. The tribals’ search for identity is explored. The issues of peace, security and the interests of independent India are also dissected.
This volume would be indispensable for scholars of literature, history, film studies, political science and contemporary studies in South Asia.
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Introduction; 1. Colonialism and Public Health in Rarh Bengal: Development and Underdevelopment ; 2. Ladies’ Parliament: Literary Representation of a Site of Female Interaction in Colonial Rural Bengal; 3. Indians and Europeans in Coal Business: Conflict of Interest in the Bengal Coalfield, 1900-1947; 4. Potter’s Craft: A Traditional Sector in Colonial Bengal; 5. Genealogies of Sports Associations in Bengal: Historicising the Institutionalization of European Clubs with Native Akharas; 6. The Missionary Among the Khasis; 7. Swarnakumari Devi: A Trend Setter in Colonial Bengal; 8. Family Health and Dissemination of Medical Knowledge in Nineteenth Century India; 9. His Nest and His Sky: Rabindranath Tagore, Women and the Idea of the Feminine; 10. Too Long a Prelude? The Formative Century of Bengali Theatre; 11. Revisiting a Marginalized Community: The Bone-setters of Bengal; 12. On Identity, State and Conflict in North-east India; 13. What, Drawn, and Talk of Peace! Security, Development and the Autonomy Question in the Indian North-east 285; Parama: a Journey from Society to ‘Self ’