Like Weber before him, Shadi Hamid attributes more importance to religious denomination than material conditions as a factor for liberalism and democracy in ‘Islamic Exceptionalism’.
Whatever happened in the past, religious-based violence is real in modern India, and Muslims are frequent targets. It is thus disingenuous to single out Indian Muslim rulers for condemnation without owning up to the modern valences of that focus.
By recreating a whole world around a group of traders in western India, Chhaya Goswami’s Globalization before Its Time is business history as it should be.
The Hindu right’s worn-out, archaeologically-baseless argument that the Harappan civilisation and Rig Vedic age coincided, may get a new lease of life through the film’s poor depiction of history.
This re-naming fever is about soft warfare, cultural politics.
The Hilsa that once swam all the way from the Bay of Bengal to Delhi to titillate the palate of Mughal royalty now finds the Ganga so dirty that it cannot swim upriver for more than 75 km.
Despite the attempts of the Maratha rulers and of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan in Mysore to fight the East India Company at sea, their failure to develop an effective blue-water navy meant India could only temporarily stave off Britain’s advances.