Shivaji appears in the popular imagination as a ‘Hindu’ king, among the many who resisted Muslim rule in India. Govind Pansare’s Shivaji Kon Hota? interrogates the legend to separate fact from fiction. In this extract from his introduction to the English translation (Who was Shivaji?, LeftWord, 2015), historian Anirudh Deshpande, while discussing the merits of Pansare’s book, questions the anti-Muslim aspect of the Shivaji myth.
In Pansare’s terse and admirable book, readers [...]
On World Heritage Day, as we celebrate structures people in the past erected, let us remind ourselves of one monstrosity that the world allowed to be built, and allows to remain standing. No amount of spray-paint can sanctify it. We share an excerpt from Githa Hariharan’s essay in From India to Palestine (LeftWord, 2014).
The wall, which Israel has been building despite its being declared illegal by the International Court of Justice, is officially called a Separation Barrier or a Se[...]
We’ve all noted with admiration in several weeks past—with envy if you’re a chief minister outside Kerala—how Kerala has flattened its Covid-19 curve. While the state’s renaissance set in motion processes that led to what we have today, the role of the left front in the state’s development cannot be ignored. Here’s a 1996 article by E.M.S. Namboodiripad from Frontline that explains how the Left Democratic Front helped develop Kerala, from The Frontline Years (LeftWord, 2010).
Victor Gordon Kiernan (1913–2009) was a British Marxist historian. He was part of the famous Communist Party Historians’ Group of the 1940s that included E.P. Thompson, Christopher Hill, Rodney Hilton and others. Described by Hill as ‘one of the most versatile of British historians’, he is, however, not as well known as the others. Eric Hobsbawm, in this essay, taken from Across Time and Continents (ed. Prakash Karat, LeftWord, 2003), talked about this humble but brilliant man.