I am now working on a series of historical-anthropological studies entitled "Empire Against Terror". My book "A Princely Impostor? The Strange and Universal History of the Kumar of Bhawal" is now finished and will appear in spring 2002. It is a book on a court proceeding in Bengal in 1934-36 on establishing the identity of a person. The case offers several interesting problems regarding colonial assumptions on Indian identity, popular beliefs on political authority and personal morality and finally the techniques of the modern state to establish identity. The second project is a series of critical inquiries into the modern state as it has developed in the ex-colonial countries of Asia and Africa. It takes up questions such as national borders, sovereignty, citizenship, welfare and democracy. I will report on this research in the Schoff Lectures to be given by me at Columbia University in November 2001. I am also actively engaged in the collective project of Subaltern Studies.
Calcutta, Delhi, London