18. For a detailed analysis of these questions with regard to the development of sociology and social anthropology in India, see Veena Das, "Social Sciences and the Publics," in Oxford India Companion to Sociology and Social Anthropology, Vol.1 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003), 1-32; Nicholas Dirks, Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001); Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1999). I note that the interaction between global imaginations of areas and the local mapping of these imaginaries has unintended consequences. In the case of India, there was a strong investment in the idea that the emotional unity of the country could be forged by appeals to an ancient but accommodating Hindu tradition. It is not my case that this view was uncontested but rather that the battles in the social sciences and humanities were fought over terrains that were concerned with questions of nation building—these battles cannot be understood through some kind of tunnel view of history.


 [ return to text ]