Reading History with the Tamil Jainas
1 February 2018

Reading History with the Tamil Jainas

Publication by Umamaheshwari, R., current Fellow at the IAS-Nantes

Umamaheshwari, R, historian, Independent Social scientist and journalist from India has just published "Reading History with the Tamil Jainas".

Abstract from the back cover :

This book provides a social history of the Tamil Jainas, a minority community living in Tamil Nadu in south India. It holds special significance in the method of studying the community, living in villages of Tamil Nadu and retrieving their perspectives on their past. This is a new approach in terms of historiography from extant works on Jainism in south India. A major feature of this book is the hitherto uncovered aspect of the question of language and identity, caste and the modern socio-political movements in Tamil Nadu, such as the Self-Respect Movement (initiated by ‘Periyar’), in which some Tamil Jainas were active participants. Special features in the book include photographs of the community and monuments, maps, and a unique style, which combines a journalistic approach and academic historical research. This book is of interest to readers of Tamil language and history, and to anyone working on the idea of politics of marginalisation of religious identities, ideas of memory, and community narratives of shared history in the face of religious persecution.

More information about Umamaheshwari, R. and her work is available here and also more information about the book on the editor’s website here.