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On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X


GUHA, Ramachandra. The challenge of contemporary history - Comparative possibilities . Historia [online]. 2009, vol.54, n.1, pp.112-128. ISSN 2309-8392.

This article explores and deplores a paradox, namely that while India may be the most interesting country in the world, we know so little about its history as an independent nation. The article identifies the obstacles to the writing of contemporary history, but also outlines how they might be overcome. It suggests some important themes for research - among these are the histories of states, the histories of institutions, and the biographies of writers and activists. Finally, the article suggests that since the study of colonialism is meeting with diminishing returns, contemporary history might and perhaps should become a "growth area" for the future.

Keywords : Archives; biography; contemporary history; historical sources; Indian historiography; Indian independence; Indian nationalism; oral history; post-independence history.

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