Probing into the history beyond mere historical facts, this book focuses on the 'imaginations' that have determined the course of Bengaluru over the last two-and-a-half centuries. It puts together contemporary accounts of the imaginations of those who were heard at each point of time. This approach is particularly relevant in present day India, of the current time where debates on history are largely a matter of choosing one set of historical facts instead of another.
The imaginations in the book relate to those of the Bengaluru of the eighteenth century that the British colonised; the nineteenth century Bangalore they ruled, directly or indirectly; the Bangalore of the twentieth century years after Independence; and the Bengaluru of the twenty-first century. It identifies the events that marked the turning points in the history of the city over those centuries, from the Battle for Bangalore in 1791 to the battles on the city's roads in the twenty-first century. It then picks the 'words' that capture the imagination that prompted each event, whether it was in the form of Thomas Munro's letter home, Seshadri Iyer's report to the Assembly on the plague or the prospectus of the Initial Public Offer of shares by Infosys.
This work, which provides a new view of Bengaluru's history as well as a method of looking at the past that is quite different from most Indian historical studies, will interest historians, sociologists and all academics in the social sciences.
A post graduate in Economics from JNU, with an M Phil from CDS, Trivandrum, and a PhD from ISEC, Prof. Pani was a research fellow at IIM Bangalore from 1980 to 1982. From 1982 to 1987 he was the Economics Correspondent with Deccan Herald, Bangalore. From 1987 to 2007 he was with The Economic Times, Bangalore in various capacities. From 2007 till date he has been with the School of Social Sciences, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore. He has written and published in various books and peer reviewed journals, including from SAGE. A wildlife biologist, she is a faculty member at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. She holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Mysore and has been interested in the ecology and behaviour of human and non-human primates. A Mathematics PhD scholar at NIAS, he works in the areas of number theory and dynamical systems. He completed his MSc in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2005, where he specialised in scientific computing, and has published in the areas of number theory, arithmetic coding and ethics.