British Soldier Artists in Colonial India

Whether drawing for official purposes or for pleasure, soldier-artists contributed a rich source to the visual imagery of colonial India in the 18th and 19th centuries. By Dr. Margaret Makepeace and Patrician Kattenhorn (not pictured) Makepeace: Fellow, Royal Historical Society Kattenhorn: Artist Britain’s earliest foothold in India came with trading stations, or factories, set up[…]

Royal Recipes in Mid-19th Century India

Some exciting recipes from the first cookbooks printed in Indian languages. The cuisines detailed within these books graced royal courts for nearly two millennia. By Dr. Abhijit Gupta Associate Professor of English Jadavpur University    Which was the first-ever cookbook in India? Candidates for this honour must be many and pretty much impossible to determine, but[…]

South Asian Activism in 19th- and 20th-Century British and Indian Politics

From the suffragette Sophia Duleep Singh to the Communist MP Shapurji Saklatvala: explore the lives of notable South Asians in 19th and 20th century British and Indian politics.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Susheila Nasta, Dr. Florian Stadtler, and Dr. Rozina Visram Nasta: Chair in Modern Literature, The Open University Stadtler: Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures, University[…]

Recording and Representing India: The East India Company’s Landscape Practices

Posthumous papers bequeathed to the honorable the East India company, and printed by order of the government of Bengal / Wikimedia Commons The East India Company produced thousands of views that helped to consolidate its authority over much of south Asia in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Rosie Dias discovers some examples from the[…]

The ‘Blue Terror’: British Troops and Cholera in 19th-Century India

As Indians began to rebel against colonial rule, the British accused them of spreading cholera, little imagining who was really to blame. The terrors that confronted one colonist show how alarming the outbreak had become. By Anna Faherty / 06.06.2017 Associate Lecturer University of the Arts London India, 1857. In a British enclave, Katherine Bartrum watches her[…]

How the Virgin Mary Brings Together Four Different Faiths in India and Pakistan

Mass inside the church dedicated to our Lady of Good Health in Valenkanni, Tamil Nadu. D.Fernandes, Author provided A common place of worship in India and Pakistan offers solace and bonds religious minorities in Pakistan. By Dr. Donna Fernandes / 02.03.2017 Researcher, Program Coordinator Habib University Karachi is the most violent city in Pakistan. A total of 1,046 deaths related to terror and militancy were reported there in 2016,[…]

India as a British Colony in World War I and World War II

From the largest volunteer army to the secret agent Noor Inayat Khan, examining the contributions made by South Asians in World War One and Two.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Susheila Nasta, Dr. Florian Stadtler, and Dr. Rozina Visram Nasta: Chair in Modern Literature, The Open University Stadtler: Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures, University of Exeter Visram: Author and Historian Introduction Asian[…]

A History of Mathematical Education in Ancient, Medieval, and Pre-Modern India

Ratha Yatra Festival in Puri, India on James Fergusson’s painting / Public Domain Very little is known of the context in which much of ancient India’s scholarly  knowledge burgeoned. By Dr. Agathe Keller Historienne des mathématiques Université Paris Diderot – USPC Introduction Very little is known of the context in which much of ancient India’s[…]

The Hijras of Ancient to Modern India

The uniqueness of Hijras lies not only in their existence beyond social structure but also in Indian society’s historical acceptance of that position. By Sibsankar Mal / 03.29.2018 PhD Candidate in Population Studies Sukumar Sengupta Mahavidyalaya (Keshpur) College Introduction A hijra named Geetu, dancing at a hair shaving ceremony in Delhi / Photo by Whitney[…]

The Road to India’s Partition

People fleeing on bullock carts as mass migration happened during the partition. AP Photo At midnight on August 15, 1947, India achieved freedom from more than two centuries of colonial rule. Hours earlier, Pakistan was declared a new nation. Was partition inevitable? By Dr. Haimanti Roy / 08.14.2017 Associate Professor of History University of Dayton[…]

Some Aspects of Health Care in Medieval India

The Susruta-Samhita or Sahottara-Tantra (A Treatise on Ayurvedic Medicine) / Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Wikimedia Commons Specialization in certain diseases or practices was prevalent and the physicians  enjoyed a high status and respect in the society. By Dr. B. Rama Rao Abstract It appears that from medieval period onwards the subjects having practical[…]

Gandhi’s Four Paths to Peaceful Revolution

Mohandas K. Gandhi / Wikimedia Commons The Indian leader saw nonviolence as an active and powerful thing—not just the absence of war. By Madhu Suri Prakash / 07.12.2013 A (non) + Himsa (violence) = Ahimsa Gandhi lived Ahimsa as a daily practice, waging peace to stop war and violence. His lifelong “experiments” with truth proved[…]

The Judicial System in Medieval India

The Mallikarjuna temple on the left (originally called Trailokesvara temple) was built by queen Trailokyamahadevi (queen of Badami Chalukya King en:Vikramaditya II) around 740 CE. The Kasivisvanatha temple (also spelt Kashivishvanatha) is from the en:Rashtrakuta period. The location is en:Pattadakal in Karnataka, India. / Photo by Dineshkannambadi, Wikimedia Commons Examining the development of the criminal[…]

The Caste System in Ancient India

Page from a manuscript of the Bhagavata Purana. Three cowherds bring their cows to the river Yamuna to drink, then they ask Kṛṣṇa how to find food. Above, Kṛṣṇa tells a group of cowherds, all standing in a line to go and ask the brahmin ladies who were then offering Vedic sacrifices. c.1500 CE, India[…]

The Sacred and the Sensual: Experiencing the Medieval Eroticain Temples of Khajuraho, India

Various statues carved on the temple walls depicting the Indian Gods in various moods. / Photo by Ankit Saha, Wikimedia Commons While most temples in India are considered to be sacred sites for pilgrimage and worship, a group of twenty-two temples at Khajuraho are known for the thousands of erotic carvings that saturate its exterior[…]

Making Home in Britain: Asian Immigration and Assimilation in the 19th Century

British Library, Public Domain How early Asian settlers earned a living and made a home in Britain.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Susheila Nasta, Dr. Florian Stadtler, and Dr. Rozina Visram Nasta: Professor of English, The Open University Stadtler: Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures, University of Exeter Visram: Independent Scholar in Asian Studies Making a permanent home in Britain was not[…]

Elephants in Ancient Indian Warfare

This war scene shown in a temple frieze in the Kailashanatha Temple depicts the use of chariots and elephants in warfare during the period of the imperial Rashtrakutas (eighth to tenth centuries CE). Location: Ellora Caves, Aurangabad, Maharashtra. / Photo by Sengai Podhuvan, Wikimedia Commons Ancient Indians continued to believe in their efficacy even when the ground results showed otherwise. By Dr.[…]

`Bharata’: A History of Ancient India

Map of the Indo-Saka – Indo-Scythian Kingdoms / Image by World Imaging, Wikimedia Commons Homonid activity in the Indian sub-continent stretches back over 250,000 years and it is, therefore, one of the oldest inhabited regions on the planet. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 11.12.2012 Professor of Philosophy Marist College India is a country in South Asia whose[…]

An Ancient Australia Connection to India?

An Aboriginal rock painting in Kakadu National Park of an early European ship. Wikimedia Commons, Google Art & Griffith University Is there a genealogical connection between the Indigenous people of Australia and India? By Dr. Darren Curnoe / 03.10.2016 Associate Professor Biological Anthropology and Archaeological Science UNSW Australia When was the remote Australian continent first settled? Where did[…]

The Hindu Shore Temple at Mamallapuram, India

Shore Temple, Mamallapuram, India (photo: KenWalker, CC-BY-SA-3.0) By Dr. Anisha Saxena / 04.24.2018 Consultant for Northern California on the South Asian Diaspora Project Syracuse University Seashore as canvas The Bay of Bengal (map: NormanEinstein, CC BY-SA 3.0) Along the shores of one of the largest bays in the world, the Bay of Bengal, stands a temple complex that[…]

Visions of Paradise: Illuminated Manuscripts and Infinite Gems from Medieval India and Europe

Krishna Uprooting the Parijata Tree from a Bhagavata Purana manuscript, 1525–50, made in Delhi region or Rajasthan, India. Opaque watercolor and ink on paper, 7 1/4 × 9 1/2 in. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, from the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Museum Associates Purchase, M.72.1.26. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA Luxury objects from Europe, the Middle East,[…]

The Meenakshi Hindu Temple at Madurai

Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, Tamil Naidu, India (photo: Jorge Royan, CC BY-SA 3.0) By Edward Fosmire / 04.03.2018 Assistant Professor of Art Santa Ana College Imagine approaching a temple complex where you are greeted by a soaring gateway more than fifteen stories tall, covered in 1500 brightly painted sculptures of divine and demonic figures. It’s overwhelming and[…]

Early Civilizations of the Indian Subcontinent

The Great Stupa of Sanchi / Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.07.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The Indus River Valley Civilizations 1.1 – Introduction 1.1.1 – Overview Map of the Indus Valley Civilization: The major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization. The Indus Valley Civilization existed through its early years of 3300-1300[…]

Indian Philosophy in the Global Cosmopolis

Vyasa grants Sanjaya divine vision, by Ramanarayanadatta astri / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Christian Coseru / 12.12.2017 Associate Professor of Philosophy College of Charleston What is the current thought on the nature, scope, and reach of Indian philosophy? Handbooks and histories of a given area, subfield, or tradition in philosophy are always good places to start[…]

How ‘Hindutva’ Recast Multi-Faith India as the ‘Hindu Homeland’

Holy Men attending the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela in Nashik, India. Photo by David Baxendale/Flickr By Ariel Sophia Bardi / 10.24.2017 ‘Hindutva,’ explained Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in 1923, is ‘not a word, but a history.’ It was introduced in a lengthy pamphlet, Essentials of Hindutva, which Savarkar wrote on the walls of his prison cell, and re-published[…]

The Road to India’s Partition

People fleeing on bullock carts as mass migration happened during the partition. AP Photo By Dr. Halmanti Roy / 08.14.2017 Associate Professor of History University of Dayton As citizens of India and Pakistan celebrate 70 years of their independence in August, they will also remember 1947 as the momentous year of their simultaneous birth. That year,[…]