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Read e-book online Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India PDF

By Gyan Prakash

ISBN-10: 0691004536

ISBN-13: 9780691004532

Another Reason is a daring and cutting edge learn of the intimate dating among technological know-how, colonialism, and the trendy state. Gyan Prakash, probably the most influential historians of India writing this day, explores in clean and unforeseen methods the complexities, contradictions, and profound value of this dating within the background of the subcontinent. He finds how technological know-how served concurrently as an software of empire and as an emblem of liberty, growth, and common reason--and how, in taking part in those dramatically assorted roles, it used to be the most important to the emergence of the trendy nation.

Prakash levels over 200 years of Indian heritage, from the early days of British rule to the sunrise of the postcolonial period. He starts off via taking us into colonial museums and exhibitions, the place Indian arts, crafts, crops, animals, or even humans have been classified, classified, and displayed within the identify of technology. He indicates how technology gave the British the capability to construct railways, canals, and bridges, to rework agriculture and the remedy of affliction, to reconstruct India's economic system, and to transfigure India's highbrow life--all to create a sturdy, rationalized, and ecocnomic colony less than British domination.

But Prakash issues out that technological know-how additionally represented freedom of notion and that for the British to take advantage of it to perform despotism used to be a deeply contradictory firm. Seizing in this contradiction, some of the colonized elite started to search parallels and precedents for medical suggestion in India's personal highbrow historical past, making a hybrid type of wisdom that mixed western principles with neighborhood cultural and spiritual figuring out. Their paintings disrupted authorized notions of colonizer as opposed to colonized, civilized as opposed to savage, smooth as opposed to conventional, and created a kind of modernity that used to be immediately western and indigenous.

Throughout, Prakash attracts on significant and minor figures on either side of the colonial divide, together with Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, the nationalist historian and novelist Romesh Chunder Dutt, Prafulla Chandra Ray (author of A historical past of Hindu Chemistry), Rudyard Kipling, Lord Dalhousie, and John Stuart Mill. With its deft blend of wealthy historic aspect and full of life new arguments and interpretations, Another Reason will recast how we comprehend the contradictory and colonial family tree of the fashionable nation.

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In Sparta, as elsewhere for that matter, deformed or feeble children were exposed at birth. It is uncertain how reliable may be stories that infant toughness was tested by means of baths in wine or icy water, but it is perhaps true that the decision to rear or destroy a child lay not with the father but with the elders of his tribe. At the age, probably, of seven the boy who had survived these hazards entered a 'herd' or agela, under the supervision of -5- an older boy (with the right to beat his juniors) and ultimately of a magistrate, the paedonomus, but also of any citizen who happened to be present.

This is the traditional language of the poets about Sparta, with a new contrast implied. Another fragment of Ion's contrasts Asian luxury with Peloponnesian simplicity. The other side of the coin can be seen elsewhere in tragedy. Sophocles, perhaps in the 440s, made Menelaus in his Ajax into an arrogant bully with no regard for allies or those who do not fight as hoplites and a belief that fear is essential both to the preservation of the laws in a city and to prudent discipline in a camp. 2 The city where one can 'do what one wants' is doomed to disaster.

1 The contrast of Athens and Sparta has not been finished in Book I. Thucydides allows Pericles, in the famous Funeral Oration, to redress the balance drawn up by Archidamus. Once again an implied contrast gives depth to the patriotic claims. If Pericles really spoke in similar terms, he must have had an eye on Athenian laconizers. One may notice in this connection the insistence that Athens has not copied her politeia from any other source, and compare Euripides' objection to those who praise other cities excessively.

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Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India by Gyan Prakash

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