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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 5: Historical Writing Since 1945$
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Axel Schneider and Daniel Woolf

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199225996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199225996.001.0001

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Indian Historical Writing since 1947

Indian Historical Writing since 1947

(p.515) Chapter 25 Indian Historical Writing since 1947
The Oxford History of Historical Writing

Supriya Mukherjee

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on Indian historical writing. The end of colonial rule in 1947 was a turning point in Indian historical writing and culture. History emerged as a professional discipline with the establishment of new state-sponsored institutions of research and teaching. Attached to the institutionalization was the political imperative of a newly independent nation in search of a coherent and comprehensive historical narrative to support its nation-building efforts. At the same time, there was a desire to establish an autonomous Indian perspective, free of colonial constraints and distortions. In this, post-independence historiography owed much to earlier strands of nationalist historiography. During the first two decades after independence, three main trajectories of historical writing emerged: an official and largely secular nationalist historiography, a cultural nationalist historiography with strong religious overtones, and a critical Marxist trajectory based on analyses of social forms.

Keywords:   Indian historical writing, Indian historiography, Indian perspective, post-independence historiography, nationalist historiography, cultural nationalist historiography, Marxism

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