Forgotten Histories: Hyderabad’s Annexation to India

Contrary and counteractive forces of political, socio-economic, and communal violence speckle the history of Hyderabad’s transition from colonial to post-colonial. Yet, Hyderabad is featured sparsely in the high school social science textbooks that study the end of colonialism in India, the political and social ramifications of the 1947 Partition, and the roots of communalism within the Indian nation-state.Based on Yunus Lasania’s talk on Operation Polo from our series on marginalised histories of the 1947 partition, Sreemoyee Mukherjee has developed a classroom module at Histories for Peace on the partition history of Hyderabad. You can access the module here:

The module asks teachers to embed subaltern voices and perspectives into the mainstream Partition history you teach in your classrooms by imbuing personal accounts, lived experiences, and critical introspections on power and nation-building into your curricula.

Read more here . . .

Self-Portrait of the Other: Translating for a Globalised World | Naveen Kishore

Kishore giving his acceptance speech for the Cesare De Michelis Prize in Venice, May 25, 2022 / Photo copyright © by Stefano Marchiant

We publish what we want to publish. What we want to publish is what we find meaningful. Often this appears to be out of sync with trends around us. Our choices are to do mostly with freedom, on one hand, and the human condition on the other. Everything that rings a bell under these headings is worth considering. Across cultures. Across languages. Borders. Ideologies. The unknown author gets as much space on the shelf as the known one. We see ourselves as a part of a world community. So we openly share ideas, connections, thoughts, resources with other publishers. Principles that respect translators and authors with equal courtesy.

Ours is a practice that will always remain fragile. Our openness to ideas makes us receptive to all that is new and untried. Especially in these times when culture is slowly but surely being hijacked by forces that are anything but benign. I feel watched in a way I never have before. And I am afraid that a technology that I do not understand is both spying on me and entertaining me. I am under surveillance even as I am seduced by it. The all-pervasive “They” of our lives. The “They” as State. As a state of mind. As a powerful presence that will have its way. “They” as Corporation. “They” as newspapers. As television. As theatre and cinema. “They” as Media with a capital “M.” “They” as power that knows no boundaries. “They” without conscience. Yes. It is like listening to music that is both hypnotic and evil. That attracts. That refuses to let go of my attention.
I listen to the songs but do not understand the words.
The space for our songs is not as free as it used to be.

-Naveen Kishore

Read the entire piece here.

A History for Peace workshop in Ahmedabad!

After Santiniketan and Kolkata in 2022,  we opened this new year with our Somnath Hore workshop travelling to Ahmedabad!

About the workshop:

Towards the end of colonial India and the birth of a new India, Somnath Hore, one of India’s foremost painter-sculptors was assigned by the Communist Party of India (the party at the helm of mobilizing peasant movements at the time) to go with a sketchpad and his diary to closely record these peasant movements. What emerged from that experience are two of his critical works—Tebhaga and The Tea Garden Journal. His lifelong works continued to be fiercely political yet intensely personal as he responded to moments that tore through the nation’s fabric—with face and voice to countless people for whom the movements were a dailiness and an inescapable reality.

Arthshila and History for Peace—an initiative of The Seagull Foundation for the Arts are pleased to facilitate an interactive workshop where we will engage with his sketches and his notes in exploring questions about people’s movements historically: Why do movements begin? How does one record the lives of people who make these struggles? His art was well and truly embedded in the turbulent society of his time and thus an honest window into that world.


‘Educate, Organize and Agitate’: A  lesson idea

We recently conducted an in-person workshop at The Seagull Foundation for the Arts based on engaging with the book Bhimayana as an introduction to the life and work of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, as well as towards understanding caste more critically. 

You can read a report on what transpired, here.

Based on the structure of the workshop, History for Peace has now developed a lesson idea for you to try out/draw from in your classroom!

Click here to view the lesson idea.

The Idea of Democracy| Ludhiana:

Seagull Books at 40: Founder Naveen Kishore through the eyes of colleagues and collaborators

A two-part series by Jerry Pinto for Scroll.In, celebrating 40 years of Seagull Books.

Naveen Kishore. | Gurmehar Kaur.

‘My first meeting with Naveen Kishore was marked by an absence. By the time I met him he was the Enigma from Calcutta as the city was then known, the man behind Seagull Books which had brought us our first film scripts, our first play scripts and some heavy hitting non-fiction books and important translations. I expected him to take all the oxygen in the room, to fill up space in the way some publishing legends were wont to do. Instead what I discovered was a watchful withdrawal, more in keeping with a writer or a poet.

Over the years however, I have also discovered a warmth offered in homoeopathic and healing doses; and a friend who can get things done.’ 

Read the entire piece here.

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