The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India (Paperback)
Shortlisted for the Cundill History Prize"Remarkable and pathbreaking...A radical rethink of colonial historiography and a compelling argument for the reassessment of the historical traditions of Hindustan."
--Mahmood Mamdani "The brilliance of Asif's book rests in the way he makes readers think about the name 'Hindustan'...Asif's focus is Indian history but it is, at the same time, a lens to look at questions far bigger."
--Soni Wadhwa, Asian Review of Books "Remarkable...Asif's analysis and conclusions are powerful and poignant."
--Rudrangshu Mukherjee, The Wire "A tremendous contribution...This is not only a book that you must read, but also one that you must chew over and debate."
--Audrey Truschke, Current History Did India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have a shared regional identity prior to the arrival of Europeans in the late fifteenth century? Manan Ahmed Asif tackles this contentious question by inviting us to reconsider the work and legacy of the influential historian Muhammad Qasim Firishta, a contemporary of the Mughal emperors Akbar and Jahangir. Inspired by his reading of Firishta and other historians, Asif seeks to rescue our understanding of the region from colonial narratives that emphasize difference and division. Asif argues that a European understanding of India as Hindu has replaced an earlier, native understanding of India as Hindustan, a home for all faiths. Turning to the subcontinent's medieval past, he uncovers a rich network of historians of Hindustan who imagined, studied, and shaped their kings, cities, and societies. The Loss of Hindustan reveals how multicultural Hindustan was deliberately eclipsed in favor of the religiously partitioned world of today. A magisterial work with far reaching implications, it offers a radical reinterpretation of how India came to its contemporary political identity.