By exploring themes of fragility, mobility and turmoil, anxieties and agency, and pedagogy, this book shows how colonialism shaped postcolonial projects in South and Southeast Asia including India, Pakistan, Burma, and Indonesia. Its chapters unearth the contingency and contention that accompanied the establishment of nation-states and their claim to be decolonized heirs. The book places key postcolonial moments - a struggle for citizenship, anxious constitution making, mass education and land reform - against the aftermath of the Second World War and within a global framework, relating them to the global transformation in political geography from empire to nation. The chapters analyse how futures and ideals envisioned by anticolonial activists were made reality, whilst others were discarded. Drawing on the expertise of eminent contributors, The Postcolonial Moment in South and Southeast Asia represents the most ground-breaking research on the region.
Table of contents:
Introduction Fragility 1. False Truth : Decolonization, Disillusionment and Hope in the 1950s - Rotem Halperin Geva (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) 2. The Enemy Within: Communism and the new Pakistani State - Kamran Asdar Ali (University of Texas, USA) 3. Contested Meanings of Post-colonialism and Independence in Burma - Mandy Sadan (School of Oriental and African Studies, UK) 4. The Marginal State: Practicing Islamic Statehood in Independent Indonesia - Chiara Formichi (Cornell University, USA) Mobility and Turmoil 5. Taming of the Custodian: Evacuee Property Law and Economic Life in the Indian Republic - Rohit De (Yale University, USA) 6. Struggles for Citizenship around the Bay of Bengal - Sunil Amrith (Harvard University, USA) 7. Genealogies of Return: Postwar, Tamil Culture and the Bay of Bengal - Bhavani Raman (University of Toronto, Canada) Anxiety and Agency 8. Anxious Constitution-Making - Gyan Prakash (Princeton University, USA) 9. Forging India's Democratic Citizenship: The Making of Universal Franchise in the Postcolonial Moment - Ornit Shani (University of Haifa, Israel) 10. 'Towards Mass Education or a Natural Aristocracy of Talents ?': Manpower Needs and the Virtues of 'Non-Alignment' - Neeti Nair (University of Virginia, USA) Pedagogy 11. 'The Work of Independence': Land Reform and the Ethical Imagination in Postcolonial India - Benjamin Siegel (Boston University, USA) 12. 'Help the Plan - Help Yourself': Making India Plan-Conscious - Nikhil Menon (University of Notre Dame, USA) 13. The Past and Future of the Muslim Post-Colonial Moment: Islamic Economy and Social Justice in South Asia - Julia Stephens (Rutgers University, USA) 14. Straight from Mecca: Medan, Hamka and the Coming of Islam to Indonesia - Michael Laffan (Princeton University, USA)
Gyan Prakash is Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University, USA. He is the author of Bonded Histories: Genealogies of Labor Servitude in Colonial India (1990), Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India (1999) and Mumbai Fables (2010). Michael Laffan is Professor of History at Princeton University, USA. He the author of Islamic Nationhood and Colonial Indonesia: The Umma Below the Winds (2003) and The Makings of Indonesian Islam: Orientalism and the Narration of a Sufi Past (2011), and the editor of Belonging Across the Bay of Bengal: Religious Rites, Colonial Migrations, National Rights (2017). Nikhil Menon is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, USA.