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JAS 2011 - Vol. 70,1

The Journal of Asian Studies
The journal of Asian studies / publ. by the Association for Asian Studies. - Vol. 70 (2011). - Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2011.
ISSN 0021-9118 (Print-Ausg.)
ISSN 1752-0401 (Online-Ausg.)
URL: Cambridge University Press
DDC: 950.05

Aus dem Inhalt: Vol. 70,1 (2011)
Zutshi, Chitralekha:
Translating the Past: Rethinking Rajatarangini Narratives in Colonial India. - In: JAS. - 70 (2011), S. 5-27.
DOI: 10.1017/S0021911810002998
Abstract: The status of Kalhana's poem Rajatarangini was mediated in colonial India in part through its English translations. However, the intent of the translations has been insufficiently analyzed in the context of the interrelationship between Orientalist and nationalist projects and the historical and literary ideas that informed them. The translators of Rajatarangini framed the text as more than a solitary example of Indian historical writing; rather, they engaged with it on multiple levels, drawing out, debating, and rethinking the definitions of literature and history and the relative significance of and relationship between them in capturing the identity of the nation and its regions. This article examines two translations of the text—one “Orientalist” and the other “nationalist”—with the purpose of interrogating these categories, by drawing out the complex engagement between European and indigenous ideas, and the dialogue between past and present that informed their production.

Shafique N. Virani:
Taqiyya and Identity in a South Asian Community. - In: JAS. - 70 (2011), S. 99-139.
DOI: 10.1017/S0021911810002974
Abstract: The Guptīs of Bhavnagar, India, represent an unexplored case of taqiyya, or precautionary dissimulation, and challenge traditional categories of religious identity in South Asia. Taqiyya is normally practiced by minority or otherwise disadvantaged groups of Muslims who fear negative repercussions should their real faith become known. Historically, the Shī‘a, whether Ithnā-‘asharī or Ismaili, have commonly dissimulated as Sunnīs, who form the dominant community. However, the Guptīs, who are followers of the Ismaili imam, and whose name means “secret” or “hidden ones,” dissimulate not as Sunnī Muslims, but as Hindus. The Guptī practice of taqiyya is exceptional for another reason: Hinduism is not simply a veil used to avoid harmful consequences, but forms an integral part of the Guptīs’ belief system and identity, and the basis of their conviction in the Aga Khan, not only as the imam, but as the avatāra of the current age.

David Vumlallian Zou and M. Satish Kumar:
Mapping a Colonial Borderland: Objectifying the Geo-Body of India's Northeast. - In: JAS. - 70 (2011), S. 141-170.
DOI: 10.1017/S0021911810002986
Abstract: India's Northeast frontier is at the margins of three study areas: South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. This paper attempts a history of “mapping” in its broader sense as a cultural universal over a relatively long period. It is not a history of cartography, but focuses on the interface between cartography and cosmography, which were, in turn, shaped by imperial power and geographical knowledge. This approach offers a high-altitude view of this Asian borderland as the imperial frontier of both the Mughals and the British, and the national fringe of Republican India. The authors argue that imperial geographical discourses invested the colonial Northeast (British Assam) with a new kind of territorial identity. Surveyors and mapmakers objectified the “geo-body” of this borderland in a spatial fix and visualized it as a Northeast-on-the-map. Cartographic territoriality naturalized traditional frontiers into colonial borderlands, which, in turn, forged national boundaries.