The uses and teaching of history

Authored by: Kumkum Roy

Routledge Handbook of Education in India

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138091610
eBook ISBN: 9781315107929
Adobe ISBN:


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History occupies a rather unique space within the urban, literate, upper-caste/middle-class imagination in India at present. On the one hand, it is considered crucial for the formation and consolidation of identities, including a highly contested national identity; on the other hand, the actual pursuit of the study of history is viewed with an odd mixture of suspicion, disdain, and condescension. This is evident if one glances through the career guidance supplements of the daily newspapers, which typically list dozens of options such as becoming lawyers, managers, entering the hospitality and health ‘industry’, or making careers in interior design, the omnipresent information technology sector, fashion, the media, and tourism, to name a few. But the option of becoming a historian is virtually invisible.

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