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Look Inside Reverence, Resistance and Politics of Seeing the Indian National Flag
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Reverence, Resistance and Politics of Seeing the Indian National Flag

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  • Author: Sadan Jha, Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Gujarat
  • Date Published: January 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107118874

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About the Authors
  • This book studies the politics that make the tricolour flag possibly the most revered of the symbols, icons and markers associated with nation and nationalism in twentieth-century India. The emphasis on the flag as a visual symbol aims to question certain dominant assumptions about visuality. Anchored on Mahatma Gandhi's 'believing eye', this study reveals specificities of visual experience in the South Asian milieu. The account begins with a survey of the pre-colonial period, focuses on colonial lives of the flag, and then moves ahead to explain the contemporary dynamics of seeing the flag in India. The Flag Satyagraha of Jubblepore and Nagpur in 1922–23, the adoption of the Congress Flag in 1931, the resolution for the future flag in the Constituent Assembly of India in 1947, the history of the colour saffron, and the codes governing the flag, as well as legal cases, are all explored in depth in this book.

    • Studies the history of the Indian flag from colonial to contemporary times
    • Reveals specificities of visual experience in the South Asian context
    • Includes over thirty-nine photographs
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Sadan Jha's book is a pioneering and illuminating history of the Indian national flag, the most important icon of the nation. Jha's critical eye helps the reader see not only the contested nature of this symbol but also some important - and usually neglected - visual aspects of the Indian nationalist movement, thus widening our understanding of the scope of the political in the South Asian context. This book should interest all students of modern South Asian history."
    Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago

    "A brilliant multidisciplinary analysis of the development of the Indian national flag and the way in which it came to be seen, appropriated and sacralised by different groups. A must-read for anyone interested in the Indian nationalist movement."
    Bhikhu Parekh, University of Westminster

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107118874
    • length: 291 pages
    • dimensions: 240 x 159 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    1. Rise of the flag
    2. Flag on the hut: totem and a political symbol
    3. The Indian national flag as a site of daily plebiscite
    4. Shades of history: a case of saffron colour
    5. Visualizing an ideal political order
    6. A post colonial symbol
    7. Gendered symbol, communal politics
    Epilogue: the flag as a sacred political symbol

  • Author

    Sadan Jha, Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Gujarat
    Sadan Jha is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Social Studies, Gujarat. His research interests are the history of visuality, the history of symbols and icons, such as the spinning wheel and Bharat Mata, the history of colours, and the contemporary urban experiences of Surat.

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