Between Pasts

Hayden White teaches that all historians should keep their ears attentive to the practical past. He alleges that historians are busy with the historical past, which is actually a dead past. The practical past is people’s attitude to the past. Every society has an attitude towards its past. To Hayden White, the task of a historian is to intervene...

History, Narrative and Society

History is not just a bunch of facts. This does not mean that history has nothing to do with facts. History is facts and events laden but these facts and events are weaved around the narrative. It is a narrative that provides cohesion to the facts and makes them intelligible to us. Historian Hayden White has done great work...

Humiliation and being Humiliated

Our society seems to be grappling with the trauma of colonial times. A sense of loss and shame seems to be haunting our people at several levels. Our public debates exhibit a drive to humiliate the other. We may say that there is a corrosive functioning of humiliation in our society. These days it appears we seem to be...

The Politics of Public Remembering

The concept of memory in academic research destabilises several meta-narratives of history and power. Memory, recording and remembering are central to our way of being and belonging to our world. The lingering of the past hurts in our present makes memory studies important and profoundly relevant. The growth of social media has unleashed a politics of public remembering. Hence,...

Conversion, Continuity and Change

The notion of conversion that seems be operative today is a protestant notion beautifully articulated by the hymn amazing grace. It is concerned with life changing disruptive total religious change. What we call conversion today and use it as name to represent religious change especially in the colonial or islamic period in our country is rather slow assimilative process...

Indian Past outside the Lens of Religion

It is interesting to see the history of our country outside the lens of religion. What has been classified as the Hindu period, Islamic period and British period by James Mill is rightly rejected by historians in our days. Historians like Richard Eaton urge us to abandon religion as a trope to view history. Studying the spread of Islam...

Limits on saying and unsaying

Words are not innocent. They often succeed by failing. This failure of words is manifested when words say something other than what they pretend to say. This saying without saying or simultaneously saying and unsaying using words belongs to the politics of enunciation. The politics of enunciation acquires importance in the context of a handbook of unparliamentary words that...

Game theory and Polarized Society

 Social opinion dynamics in our country have reached a boiling point. We seem to have become a society that is over-sensitive and gets hurt by the slightest provocation. We have loose cannons daily exploding hate venom at prime time on our television shows. The television itself has stopped giving us news and we are fed a diet of talk...

Identity Politics and It’s Other

Can Plato tell us something about us Indians today? Have we become more Platonic today? Maybe it is important to raise this question? Our forgetting of plurality and almost getting lost in the binary does seem to indicate that Plato has come to control us more than ever before. We did have dualist models of thought. We can find...

Memory, History and Archival Power

A sudden declaration of loss of documentation of the acts of the then-nascent legislative assembly by our CM was indeed disturbing. Thankfully, this error was immediately corrected by the department of the legislative assembly. This simple incident does manifest the kind of archival culture that we have in our society. The archival silences sometimes can open spaces for the...

GREETINGS

You are God's experiment

Live as per HIS hypothesis

- Fr Victor Ferrao