THE ‘MESOPOTAMIAN CONNECTION’

THE ‘MESOPOTAMIAN CONNECTION’- The microlithic tool-makers who settled at a place now called Mehrgarh,   in the Bolan River basin in Baluchistan, initiated a new phase of human organization in India which has shattered all previous beliefs about early society there. From the first forays by European scholars into Indian prehis- tory during the late nineteenth … Read more

THE PRE-FORMATION OF INDIAN CIVILIZATION

Human communities are thought to have inhabited the Indian subcontinent for 500,000 years, according to stone age sites found scattered between the far south of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Soan and Beas river valleys in northern Punjab, and from one coast to the other; estimates of dates for some of these range between … Read more

STATES WITHOUT COMMUNITIES; COMMUNITIES AS COMMUNALISM

By the later nineteenth century, after the great Mutiny of 1857, British policy was set to undermine the territorial basis of communities. This was accom- plished partly by converting erstwhile locality chieftains into dependent land- lords, breaking any that resisted the change; partly by atomizing previous territorial unities; partly by legal changes to individuate what … Read more

COMMUNITIES WITHOUT STATES

The idea of complex communities persisting over an extended period of time and space forced itself upon me some years ago when, in Paris, I visited the superb exhibition devoted to the microlithic site of Mehrgarh, near the Bolan Pass. This site had completely overturned previous beliefs about the pre- and proto-history of the subcontinent. … Read more

RESITUATING COMMUNITIES AND STATES

In the evolution of political forms in India, environmental factors, economic complexity and religious ideology all played important and interlinked roles. As a first step in delineating the long conjoined history of states and com- munities in the subcontinent, I propose the following chronological scheme: Communities without states from bce 7000 to 800. Communities as … Read more