Querying the Medieval: Texts and the History of Practices in South Asia

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Indologist Ronald Inden has in the past raised questions about the images of a traditional or medieval India deployed by colonial scholars and rulers - Orientalists - and has also argued that a history of early medieval India very different from both the colonial and nationalist accounts could be written. This volume is designed as an important first step towards that goal. The authors look closely at three genres of texts that have been crucial to the representations of precolonial India. All three essays challenge not only colonialist scholarship but the attempts by religious nationalists to identify Hinduism as the essence of national identity in Idia and Buddhism as the essence of nationality in Sri Lanka.