Xenophobia in Seventeenth-century India
It is tempting to think of precolonial India as a harmonious society, but was it? This study brings evidence from new and unexpected sources to take position in the sensitive debate over that question. From the investigation of six conflicts in the Deccan region it draws conclusions about group behaviour that put modern clashes in context. Some of the conflicts under investigation appear odd today but were very real to the involved, as the antagonism between Left and Right Hand castes was for about a thousand years. Other conflicts continue to the present day: the seventeenth century saw lasting changes in the relationship between Hindus and Muslims as well as the rise of patriotism and early nationalism in both India and Europe. This book carefully brings to life the famous and obscure people who made the era, from the Dutch painter Heda to queen Khadija and from maharaja Shivaji to the English rebel Keigwin.
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