Book cover India

From Discovery to the Civilizational Mission

Pramod K Nayar , Professor in the department of English at the University of Hyderabad and member om ConcurrencesĀ“ Advisory Board, has written a 5-volume set on English Writings on India.

India and the subcontinent stimulated the curiosity of the British who came to India as traders. Each aspect of life in India - its people, customs, geography, climate, fauna and flora - was documented by British travelers, traders, administrators, soldiers to make sense to the European mind. As they 'discovered' India and occupied it, they also attempted to 'civilise' the natives.
Volume 1 'Discoveries', Explorations and the Imperial Survey consists of documents that deal with England's discovery of India, its exploration and mapping of the subcontinent.

Volume 2 Indian People and Society includes English studies of Indian languages, people and communities, and the social order.

Volume 3 Domesticity, the Social Scene and Leisure shifts the focus to the English home and social life.

Volume 4 Rebellions and Wars is a collection of accounts of a very different British life in India: as prisoners, under siege and in conditions of war. The British ascendancy in India did not proceed smoothly, and colonisation was always a militarised zone of interest, action and process.

Volume 5 The 'Civilisational Mission' documents England's social reform and other efforts at 'improving' the colonised. The British, like other Europeans in Africa and Asian colonies, explained, defended and promoted their presence and action by presenting themselves in the role of the civilisers.

Professor Pramod K. Nayar, Department of English, University of Hyderabad, India.