history and cultural change

This is a listing of every resource tagged with 'history and cultural change'.



Gandhi Timeline
A scrollable, interactive timeline illustrated with photographs and descriptions of key events in the life of Mohandas K. Gandhi

Gandhi outside his Johannesburg office
Photograph of M. K. Gandhi at his law office in Johannesburg, South Africa

Gandhi in 1915
Portrait of M. K. Gandhi around the time of his return to India from South Africa, via England

"Autobiographical Sketch"
Rammohun Roy's brief (two-page) overview of his life.

Portrait of Raja Rammohun Roy
Three-quarters-length portrait of Rammohun Roy; engraving based on painting by Henry Perronet Briggs. Frontispiece to The English Works of Raja Rammohun Roy.

Portrait of Raja Rammohun Roy
Engraving depicting Roy in profile, over signature "Rammohun Roy"

Tomb of Raja Rammohun Roy in the Cemetary of Arno's Vale, near Bristol
Photograph of tomb of Rammohun Roy

Regulation XVII, A.D. 1829 of the Bengal code (4 December 1829)
Legal code issued by the colonial government of India concerning the practice of sati

Petition of Hindus against the abolition of sati (19 December 1829)
Petition submitted to the Governor-General's Council by a group of Hindus, protesting the Council's abolition of sati.

The Relations of the Sexes
An excerpt from A History of the Arya Samaj (1915), describing improvements in the lives of Hindu women in India

"The Agitation Against Sati, 1987-88"
Essay on the contemporary debate over sati in India

"Strange Response"
Opinion piece on the Roop Kanwar sati case

"Remarks on Settlement in India by Europeans"
Essay concerning advantages and disadvantages of European (British) settlement in India as perceived by Rammohun Roy

"The Brahmunical Magazine, or, The Missionary and the Brahmun; Being a Vindication of the Hindoo Religion against the Attacks of Christian Missionaries"
Essay by Rammohun Roy in defense of Hinduism

"Translation of a Conference between an Advocate for and an Opponent of the Practice of Burning Widows Alive"
Essay by Rammohun Roy concerning sati

"A Second Conference between an Advocate for and an Opponent of the Practice of Burning Widows Alive"
Essay by Rammohun Roy concerning sati

"Abstract of the Arguments Regarding the Burning of Widows, Considered as a Religious Rite"
Essay by Rammohun Roy arguing that Hinduism does not make self-immolation (sati) incumbent upon widows.

The Indian Empire
Map depicting British colonial India (red), Indian-administered territories (pink), and independent states and territories (green). This map appears on the inside cover of all volumes of the Imperial Gazetteer of India.

Calcutta
Map of the city of Calcutta (1909)

Environs of Calcutta
Map of Calcutta (1909) and surrounding area

Young India: A Weekly Journal, March 23, 1922
Issue of the newspaper Young India: A Weekly Journal including "The Great Trial," a report on the trial of Gandhi for sedition, in Ahmedabad, March 18, 1922

Asbab-e-baghawat-e-Hind (Causes of the Indian Revolt)
Essay by Syed Ahmad Khan discussing factors leading to the 1857 Rebellion, published as a pamphlet (in Urdu) in 1859, in English in 1873. Abridged and annotated version.

"Review on Hunter's Indian Musalmans"
Book review essay by Syed Ahmad Khan; an abridgement of a series of articles originally appearing in the Indian newspaper Pioneer

"Sir Syed and the Education Commission"
Transcription of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's appearance at the proceedings of the Education Commission appointed in 1882 by the Government of India

"Speech at the Founding of the Anglo-Oriental College"
Speech delivered by Syed Ahmad Khan at the public dinner in honor of the founding of the Mahomaden Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh (later called Aligarh University)

"On Wahabism"
Letter sent by Syed Ahmad Khan to the editor of the Pioneer regarding British misunderstanding of Wahabism

"The Indian National Congress"
Speech delivered to Muslims of Meerut by Syed Ahmad Khan, opposing Muslim involvement in the Indian National Congress

"The Views of Sir Syed on the Caliphate"
Essay by Syed Ahmad Khan arguing that the Muslims of India do not owe allegiance to the Caliph of another country

European Settlements in South Asia, 1498-1763
Map depicting dates and locations of first settlements by the British, Danish, Dutch, French, and Portuguese on the Indian subcontinent

India during the War of 1857-58
Map depicting the degrees of involvement of Indian states during the 1857 Rebellion

The 1947 Partition of India
Interactive map showing national boundaries on the Indian subcontinent, before and after the August 15, 1947 Partition

Country Profile: India
Brief overview of India's history, geography and demography, economy, transportation and telecommunications, government and politics, and national security.

Country Profile: Pakistan
Brief overview of Pakistan's history, geography, demographics, society, economy, transportation and telecommunications, government and politics, and national security.

Nepal and Part of Tibet
Early 20th-century map of Nepal and a portion of Tibet

McDonald's on Janpath Road
Photograph of a McDonald's on Janpath Road, near Connaught Place in Delhi

Pepsi Stand
Photograph of a Pepsi stand at Connaught Place, Delhi

Jama Masjid (I)
Photograph of the facade of the Jama Masjid in Delhi, India. The mosque was commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and completed in 1656.

Jama Masjid (II)
Photograph of the Jama Masjid of Delhi, India. The mosque was commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and completed in 1656.

Scene at the Jama Masjid
Photograph of tourists and locals on the grounds of the Jama Masjid in Delhi. The famous mosque was commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and completed in 1656.

Main Courtyard of Jama Masjid (I)
Photograph of the main courtyard of the Jama Masjid in Delhi. The mosque was commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and completed in 1656.

Main Courtyard of Jama Masjid (II)
Photograph of the main courtyard of Jama Masjid in Delhi. The mosque was commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and completed in 1656.

Coca-Cola Billboard
Photograph of a billboard in Ansal Plaza, Delhi, featuring Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan advertising Coca-Cola

McDonald's Window
Photograph of a McDonald's Restaurant in Ansal Plaza, Delhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: Memories of the Mahatma, by G. V. Mavalankar

This BBC radio program features G. V. Mavalankar, who was Gandhi's lawyer and was Speaker in the Indian Lower House; he died in 1956. He relates his memories of his first meeting with Gandhi in Ahmedabad in 1916, when he felt that Gandhi's apparent obsession with everyday tasks was wrong, that he was "full of idiosyncrasies" and impolite to visitors. He recalls meeting Gandhi at the Gujarat Club in company with Sardar Patel (who would later become deputy prime minister of the newly independent India). Patel prevented Mavalankar from greeting Gandhi immediately, as he felt that the Mahatma did not like ceremony. Mavalankar analyzes how Gandhi persuaded people to follow nonviolent methods, and tells an anecdote about the 1931 census that illustrates Gandhi's relations with Patel.


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: Memories of the Mahatma, by Dr. B. C. Roy

In this BBC radio program, Francis Watson interviews B. C. Roy, who was one of Gandhi's doctors and attended him constantly in his later years. In 1956 Roy became prime minister of West Bengal. Roy describes his first meeting with Gandhi in 1925 in Calcutta, and why Gandhi was a difficult patient; his treatment of Gandhi during his fasts, including the fast in Aga Kahn's palace when Gandhi's condition was very critical; Gandhi's frugal diet in 1931, and his ability to gain weight or sleep at will; and how once, in 1944, he managed to persuade Gandhi to take medicine. Roy explains why he feels that Gandhi was not a religious man; Gandhi's main belief was that individuals should develop, based on khadi (nonviolence), along with society. He relates anecdotes about Muslim maltreatment of women in the 1946 Noakhali riots; the strength Gandhi imbued into followers of the civil disobedience movement; and Gandhi's willingness to try other methods if his own did not achieve his aims.


Talking of Gandhiji: The Last Phase. The fourth and last of a series of programmes on the life of Mahatma Gandhi.

This BBC radio program begins with a description of Gandhi's sober reaction to the Transfer of Power; he did not approve of Partition and was grieved by the violence between Hindus and Muslims. Ian Stephens gives an impression of his vitality in an interview. Impression of his new home and work in Noakhali (Bengal) and campaign of nonviolence there. Lord Mountbatten recalls his first meeting with Gandhi and the reconciliation he effected between Gandhi and Jinnah. Suhrawardy recollects his stay with Gandhi in Calcutta and his miraculous bringing of temporary peace to the city. But Gandhi was not satisfied and began another fast, which succeeded in quelling subsequent rioting; and then he came to Delhi. Tribute to the work of Indira Gandhi. Nehru pays tribute to "this weak little bundle of bones" and gives a picture of the comfort which the latter's daily prayer meetings brought to troubled Delhi. Description of his last fast to ensure that the new peace was made in the right spirit, and the love with which people regarded him. The program ends with a brief description of Gandhi's assassination.


Talking of Gandhiji: The Conquest of India. The second of four programmes of memories of men and women who knew him.

The speakers who contribute to this BBC radio program discuss the growth of Gandhi from the "respected crank" of 1915 to the world figure he was at the time of his death. Especial points in his career are described: the 1922 trial, the fasts of 1924 and 1932, and the 1930 Salt March. Speakers' assessments of his work vary, but most emphasized among his campaigns are those for the Untouchables and for India's independence without losing the friendship of the British. The program includes a tribute from Lord Halifax, who as Lord Irwin and Viceroy of India made the Irwin-Gandhi Pact with Gandhi.


Talking of Gandhiji: A Portrait. The first of four programmes of memories of men and women who knew him.

This BBC radio program begins with a short extract from a speech by Gandhi. The speakers provide details of Gandhi's character and appearance—"an extraordinarily plain-looking man"—and opinions on his political powers and integrity. Opinions on whether he was a saint, politician, both, or merely "a self-made man" are all expressed here. The program ends with an extract from Gandhi's "Spiritual Message to the World."


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: Memories of the Mahatma, by Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

This BBC radio program features B. R. Ambedkar, distinguished lawyer and leader of the Untouchables who was opposed to Gandhi's policy relating to a separate electorate of the Untouchables. Ambedkar recounts memories of meeting Gandhi in 1929 and after the signing of the Poona Pact in jail. As he saw Gandhi in the capacity of an opponent, he feels that he saw more of the real man than his devotees. Ambedkar considers Gandhi "an episode" rather than "an epoch-maker" and believes he deceived the people and was two-faced over caste. He analyzes the status of the Untouchables (Harijan) and inconsistencies in Gandhi's apparent championship of them. Ambedkar feels that political independence would have come without Gandhi, but that the Transfer of Power was premature. He also examines motives behind Attlee's sudden change of policy. He relates his memories of the Poona Pact and his disagreement with Gandhi over the Untouchable suffrage and the electoral system he proposed. Ambedkar stresses that Gandhi worked entirely as a politician and was not a Mahatma.


Islam in the Modern World: Examination of the Role and Significance of Islam in Modern Society. 6 (of 8). India.

This BBC radio program discusses the relationship between Indian Hindus and Muslims; the 1947 partition and the creation of Pakistan (including personal memories); and current trends and political influences on Islam in India.


Memory, forgetting, and the ethics of writing history
In this brief video Partha Chatterjee (professor of anthropology, Columbia University) discusses attempts to write about the Partition of India based on oral histories, and the extent to which the events important to individuals may differ from the events important to official history. He also discusses the role of deliberate forgetting of past violence, and the ethics of reviving histories that people have chosen to forget.

The 1975 Emergency
In this brief video, Partha Chatterjee (professor of anthropology, Columbia University) discusses the circumstances surrounding the 1975 Emergency in India declared by Indira Gandhi. He views it as the culmination of her efforts to create a stronger, more authoritarian Congress Party and to consolidate centralized political power. She declared the emergency to avoid being pressured to resign as prime minister after being found guilty of violating election laws in 1971. The political opposition was immediately jailed and the normal processes of politics were completely suspended, but the Emergency regime was short-lived. Media were so tightly controlled that there was no immediate outcry that threatened the regime, but it proved difficult to rule effectively in the absence of normal political processes. Gandhi herself called for elections, assuming that she would win, but once the media opened up people realized what the Emergency regime had meant, and she lost dramatically.

Divergent experiences of India and Pakistan after 1947
In this brief video, Partha Chatterjee (professor of anthropology, Columbia University) discusses how India and Pakistan have differed in their development. Pakistan's early political leaders were not from regions that became Pakistan, and local populations did not immediately become part of the government, though the Punjab elite were well represented in the army. Creating a strong central government proved difficult, and in 1956 the Pakistani army staged a coup. Since then the military has largely ruled the country, and major institutions of government have not had a chance to develop. In India, by contrast, the foundations of crucial institutions were successfully laid, and despite phases of totalitarian rule and of unsuccessful coalition governments, all parties assume that government will operate within the terms of the Constitution. Many Indians complain of slow economic growth, which some blame on Indian democracy, but many consider this a price worth paying for freedoms not enjoyed elsewhere, including Pakistan. Pakistan presents bleak choices between the military elite and the popular opposition, which in recent years has tended to come from right-wing Islamist groups.

Tengboche Cultural Center proposal
A ten-page funding proposal for building a cultural center, including museum and library, and a residence building for boys undergoing monastic training at Tengboche Monastery, at Tengboche, Nepal. The proposal was motivated by concern for the survival of traditional Sherpa culture.

The Government of India Act
In this brief video Nicholas Dirks (professor of anthropology, Columbia University) notes that while the 1935 Government of India Act was a major moment in the independence of India, it was also too little too late. The British used the interests of Indian princes to slow down the transfer of power and treated Muslim political interests as fundamentally separate from Hindu interests.

The Quit India movement
In this brief video Nicholas Dirks (professor of anthropology, Columbia University) discusses Indian disillusionment over the Britain's failure to consult the elected government before involving India in World War II. This disillusionment led to the Quit India movement, in which Indian nationalist leaders called for noncooperation with the war effort and declared British rule illegitimate.

Gandhi and Nehru
In this brief video Nicholas Dirks (professor of anthropology, Columbia University) argues that it is a mistake to characterize Gandhi as the spiritual leader, Nehru as the political leader of India. Gandhi was highly aware of the political implications of anything he did. He described his life in politics as a life of spiritual seeking and saw no real distinction between the world of politics and the world of religion. Nehru's 1919 encounter with Gandhi changed his life; he joined the nationalist movement and became a follower of Gandhi both spiritually and politically.

City of Bombay
Early 20th-century map of the city of Bombay

Madras and Environs
Early 20th-century map of the city of Madras and surrounding area

Indian Education: Minute of the 2nd of February, 1835 (abridged)
Report presented by Thomas Macaulay to Lord William Bentinck, governor-general of India, recommending that English replace Sanskrit or Arabic as the language of Indian education.

Syllabus for "Introduction to South Asian History and Culture"
An interactive syllabus, with hyperlinked digital resources, for Fall 2005 Columbia University anthropology course "Introduction to South Asian History and Culture." The course introduces seminal writings in the emergence of modernity on the Indian subcontinent, surveying major figures who helped shape social and political struggles during the British colonial period (roughly 1818-1947). It examines debates about religious reform, the role of women, nation formation, and caste stratification. The course analyzes, among other things, what was at stake in formulations of "tradition"and "modernity," how these formulations relate to contemporary issues and everyday life in South Asia, and how concepts such as gender, caste, religion, and nation change over time.

Modern South Asia Timeline: Social Movements, Political Events, and Intellectual Production
An interactive timeline, with hyperlinked documents, maps, short biographies, and other material, focusing on the modern history of the Indian subcontinent. The timeline covers the nineteenth-century religious reforms instituted by Indian intellectuals and British colonial officials and the nationalist movements leading to the 1947 independence of India and the creation of Pakistan. It provides a brief overview of earlier cultural and political events (the Brahmanical tradition, the Mughal period) that influenced debates of the British colonial period. It also lists key events, post-1947 to the 1990s, relevant to contemporary anthropological questions regarding caste, gender, and ethnic conflict. The timeline was prepared in conjunction with Columbia University anthropology course "Introduction to South Asian History and Culture" (Fall 2005).

Web site for "Introduction to South Asian History and Culture"
Class web site for Fall 2005 Columbia University anthropology course "Introduction to South Asian History and Culture." The website includes an interactive syllabus (with hyperlinked digital resources including texts, maps, photographs, audio, and video) and an interactive timeline of modern South Asia history (with further hyperlinked resources). The course introduces seminal writings in the emergence of modernity on the Indian subcontinent, surveying major figures who helped shape social and political struggles during the British colonial period (roughly 1818-1947). It examines debates about religious reform, the role of women, nation formation, and caste stratification, and analyzes what was at stake in formulations of "tradition" and "modernity," how these formulations relate to contemporary issues and everyday life in South Asia, and how concepts such as gender, caste, religion, and nation change over time. The timeline was designed to provide greater historical context for the course readings. It focuses particularly on the 1818-1947 period, but also provides a brief overview of earlier cultural and political eras and highlights key events, post-1947 to the 1990s, relevant to contemporary anthropological questions regarding caste, gender, and ethnic conflict.

Letter from Rabindranath Tagore to Lord Chelmsford, Viceroy of India
A public letter addressed by Rabindranath Tagore to Lord Chelmsford, Viceroy of India, in which Tagore protests the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, Punjab, and renounces the knighthood that had been conferred on him in 1915. The letter was published in The Statesman (June 3, 1919), a leading English-language Indian newspaper, and in the Modern Review (July 1919), a Calcutta monthly.

Historical Map of India
Detailed 1882 map of India showing towns, cities, provinces, and rivers