Talking History is the eighth title in the OUP series of Ramin Jahanbegloo's conversations with prominent intellectuals who have influenced modern Indian thought. This volume excavates the life and career of Romila Thapar as a historian and a public intellectual. Her multifaceted work, from her early research on Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas to her classic studies on the lineage system in India, her questioning of the dominant paradigms of historians
from both the colonial era and from the more recent nationalist era to the role of a public intellectual in India, have made her one of the most frequently read, discussed, and cited historians of our times.
Across the six parts of the book, Jahanbegloo probes her to talk about some of the central issues of history writing in India, such as the function of a historian, conflict with Hindu fundamentalism, authority in historical research, oriental despotism, and the polymorphous structure of Hinduism, as also about her life.
Ramin Jahanbegloo is professor and vice dean and executive director, Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace Studies, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana. Romila Thapar is a renowned historian whose area of study is ancient India. She is the professor emerita at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Neeladri Bhattacharya is a professor at the Centre for Historical Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has researched and published on the making of the colonial rural order, custom, law and modernity, colonial power and discourse, and practices of history writing. His publications include Essays on the Commercialization of Indian Agriculture (1986, co-edited), Labouring Histories: Agrarian Labour and Colonialism (2004), and numerous articles on colonialism and agrarian society, and the representation of history.
PART I: FROM PUNJAB TO LONDON; PART II: THE FUNCTION OF THE HISTORIAN; PART III: MODERN WRITING OF EARLY INDIAN HISTORY; PART IV: LINEAGE AND KINGSHIP; PART V: THE HISTORIAN AND THE EPIC; PART VI: SHAKUNTALA AND SOMANATHA