Interviews | March 2, 2022
Read more about `Violent Fraternity: An Interview with Dr. Shruti Kapila`
Historical considerations of modern South Asia have been marked by a predisposition towards political, material and socio-cultural analyses. Seldom has the remit of ideas as autonomous objects taken centre stage in the historiography of modern South Asia. Shruti Kapila’s new book Violent Fraternity veers off this established trajectory and breaks new ground by looking at ideas as the wellspring of political innovation and fundamental to the republication foundations of the nations of India and Pakistan during what she terms the ‘Indian age’. A work of remarkable scope that defies easy summarisation, the premise of Violent Fraternity is that violence became fraternal in 20th-century India: it was the intimate kin rather than the colonial other that became the object of unprecedented violence. “Violence, fraternity and sovereignty,” Kapila writes, “made up an intimate, deadly and highly consequential triangle of concepts that produced what has been termed here the Indian Age." In her recent book Violent Fraternity and in her earlier work on intellectual history of modern India, Dr. Kapila has pushed the boundaries of the field beyond its conventional focus on the West. In our interview, we spoke about modern India’s founding fathers and their intellectual contributions, writing global intellectual histories of the non-west, the future of the field of global intellectual history and Dr. Kapila’s engagements beyond her illustrious academic career.