A History of the Present Journal Article uri icon



  • In his comments Kunal Parker has framed my article within what he calls the “ontology of colonialism as difference.” He argues that my article “fits squarely” within a “self-consciously postcolonial scholarship” that in recent decades has been centrally concerned with “the rendering of colonialism as difference.” My research in this article, however, was neither inspired nor guided by the historiography of difference. Indeed Parker's framing of my article in these terms prevents him from seeing the most important claims in it. If I were to characterize the nature of my essay in terms of a genre of historiography, I would place it in the genre of the history of the present. My aim in this article, which is part of a larger project, was to make the postcolonial political formation in India intelligible in the light of its pre-independence historical origins. While most historians of modern India terminate their research at 1947, the year of India's independence, assuming postcolonial political development to be inaccessible to historical research, most studies by political scientists have taken 1947 as their point of departure, as if the postcolonial political formation had emerged fully formed without any history. My larger project seeks to break through this historiographical barrier and make postcolonial India accessible to historical research.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • March 29, 2021 1:13 AM

Full Author List

  • Mukherjee M

author count

  • 1

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0738-2480

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-9022

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 697

end page

  • 702


  • 23


  • 3