by Sumit Guha Nothing seems easier than remembering. Each of us remembers a great deal – from the recent past and the remote past. And even if we cannot remember something it surely is recorded somewhere in a collective memory – perhaps in the vast ragbag of information, disinformation, and speculation to be found on […]
Among the most important and most troubling occurrences that historians research are slavery and the slave trade. According to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic to North and South America to be forced into slavery. As many as 2 million died in transit. In recent decades, the history […]
By Sumit Guha Empires ancient and modern are large, hierarchical organizations, structurally founded on deep inequalities of risk and reward. The British Empire in Asia was no exception. At the front lines of imperial power were, all too often, common men (and some women) who were tricked, cozened, misled, coerced, and whipped into serving as […]
Slavery is an old and tenacious institution in human society. It is not unknown at present. Nor was it confined in the past to the plantations in the Americas that fed world trade after Europe’s overseas expansion in the 1500s. The practice was widespread in India and accepted and regulated by every regime extant in the region.
More to Read about Caste and South Asia
It may sound strange to many readers, but when I was growing up as the son of upper middle-class civil servants in India in the 1960s, I was hardly aware of the existence of caste distinctions.
It was the Indian month of Shravana, and early summer rains of 1653 would have set in as the delegation of villagers toiled up the steep slopes to the gates of the fort of Rohida, (later named Vicitragadh) and presented themselves to the officials there.