Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gandhi's Spinning Wheel & Barefoot Husain

Gandhi’s use of the spinning wheel was one of the most significant unifying elements of the nationalist movement in India. Spinning was seen as an economic and political activity that could bring together the diverse population of South Asia, and allow the formerly elite nationalist movement to connect to the broader Indian population.
This book looks at the politics of spinning both as a visual symbol and as a symbolic practice. It traces the genealogy of spinning from its early colonial manifestations in Company painting to its appropriation by the anti-colonial movement. This complex of visual imagery and performative ritual had the potential to overcome labour, gender, and religious divisions and thereby produce an accessible and effective symbol for the Gandhian anti-colonial movement. By thoroughly examining all aspects of this symbol’s deployment, this book unpacks the politics of the spinning wheel and provides a model for the analysis of political symbols elsewhere. It also probes the successes of India’s particular anti-colonial movement, making an invaluable contribution to studies in social and cultural history, as well as South Asian Studies. About the Author
Rebecca M. Brown is visiting Associate Professor in Political Science and the History of Art at Johns Hopkins University, US, researching colonial and post-independence in South Asia. Her publications include Art for a Modern India, 1947–1980 (2009) and Asian Art (co-edited with Deborah S. Hutton, 2006).
A History of State and Religion in India (Routledge Studies in South Asian History)by Ian Copland, Ian Mabbett, Asim Roy, and Adam Bowles (May 2011)
Insurgent Sepoys: Europe Views the Revolt of 1857 by Shaswati Mazumdar (Jan 25, 2011)
Traversing Tradition: Celebrating Dance in India (Celebrating Dance in Asia and the Pacific) by Urmimala Sarkar Munsi and Stephanie Burridge (Jan 11, 2011)
History and the Making of a Modern Hindu Self by Aparna Devare (Nov 25, 2010)
The Indian Postcolonial: A Critical Reader by Elleke Boehmer and Rosinka Chaudhuri(Nov 22, 2010)
This book is the first inter-disciplinary engagement with the work of Maqbool Fida Husain, arguably India’s most iconic contemporary artist today, whose life and work are intimately entangled with the career of independent India as a democratic, secular and multi-ethnic nation. For more than half a century, and across thousands of canvases, Husain has painted individuals and objects, events and incidents that offer an astonishing visual chronicle of India through the ages.
The 13 articles in this volume – written by distinguished artists, curators, anthropologists, historians, art historians and critics, sociologists and scholars of post-colonial literature and religion – critically examine the artistic statement that Husain has presented on the self, community and nation through his oeuvre. It engages with the controversies that have erupted around and about Husain’s work, and situates them in debates around the freedom of the artist versus the sentiments of the community, between ‘virtue’ and ‘obscenity’, between an ‘elite’ of intellectuals and the ‘common man’, and between a ‘work of art’ and a ‘religious icon’. Correspondingly it considers how India has responded to Husain: with affection, admiration and adulation on the one hand, and hostility and rejection on the other.
This book is more relevant than ever before in light of the debates that have arisen over Husain’s self-imposed exile for the last few years following a spate of violent attacks on his home and exhibitions in India, and his recent decision to forfeit his Indian citizenship.
It will be of interest to those studying art history, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, and politics, as well as to a wide spectrum of readers interested in contemporary issues of identity and nationhood. About the Author: Sumathi Ramaswamy is Professor of History at Duke University. 
Performers and Their Arts: Folk, Popular and Classical Genres in a Changing Indiaby Simon Charsley and Laxmi N. Kadekar (Jun 18, 2007)
Dance Matters: Performing India on Local and Global Stages by Pallabi Chakravorty and Nilanjana Gupta (Feb 3, 2010)
Motherhood in India: Glorification without Empowerment? by Maithreyi Krishnaraj(Nov 3, 2009)
Of the five major sociologists whose views on Indian society are assessed in this work, originally published in 1979, Marx and Weber made a special study of the subject and had something definite to say about the future of Indian society. Herbert Spencer was primarily concerned with the effects of colonial rule on India's progress, while Durkheim and Pareto tended to observe Indian society from a comparative point of view. However, as this study shows, all five sociologists touched on two special aspects of Indian society -- Indian religion and the caste system. The other features of Indian society which they discussed in their various writings range widely from marriage and family structure, through village communities and the social structure of cities, to political organization, the educational system, economic conditions, and the future progress of Indian society. Dr Madan demonstrates the correctness of Marx's contention that the political subordination of India was the one great hindrance to the future progress of Indian Society. He points out, though, that Marx failed to see clearly the effects of the caste system on economic development, and shows that this aspect was more correctly assessed by Max Weber. On the other hand, in Dr Madan's view, Weber's observation that Indian religion was 'other-worldly' and therefore a great obstacle to progress in Indian society lacked incisiveness. By focusing on a neglected aspect of the writings of five of the great figures in sociology, the book gives a new insight into their work, and at the same time highlights many hitherto unrecognized facets of India's complex social structure.

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