Nation at Play: A History of Sport in India

Hardcover | October 27, 2015

byRonojoy Sen

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Reaching as far back as ancient times, Ronojoy Sen pairs a novel history of India's engagement with sport and a probing analysis of its cultural and political development under monarchy and colonialism, and as an independent nation. Some sports that originated in India have fallen out of favor, while others, such as cricket, have been adopted and made wholly India's own. Sen's innovative project casts sport less as a natural expression of human competition than as an instructive practice reflecting a unique play with power, morality, aesthetics, identity, and money.

Sen follows the transformation of sport from an elite, kingly pastime to a national obsession tied to colonialism, nationalism, and free market liberalization. He pays special attention to two modern phenomena: the dominance of cricket in the Indian consciousness and the chronic failure of a billion-strong nation to compete successfully in international sporting competitions, such as the Olympics. Innovatively incorporating examples from popular media and other unconventional sources, Sen not only captures the political nature of sport in India but also reveals the patterns of patronage, clientage, and institutionalization that have bound this diverse nation together for centuries.

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From the Publisher

Reaching as far back as ancient times, Ronojoy Sen pairs a novel history of India's engagement with sport and a probing analysis of its cultural and political development under monarchy and colonialism, and as an independent nation. Some sports that originated in India have fallen out of favor, while others, such as cricket, have been...

Ronojoy Sen is senior research fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies and Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. He has worked for over a decade with leading Indian newspapers, most recently as an editor for The Times of India. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and read h...

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Kobo ebook|Sep 29 2015

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pagesPublished:October 27, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231164904

ISBN - 13:9780231164900

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Down the Ages: Sport in Ancient and Medieval India2. Empire of Sport: The Early British Impact on Recreation3. White Man's Burden: Teachers, Missionaries, and Administrators4. Players and Patrons: Indian Princes and Sports5. The Empire Strikes Back: The 1911 IFA Shield and Football in Calcutta6. Politics on the Maidan: Sport, Communalism, and Nationalism7. The Early Olympics: India's Hockey Triumphs8. Lords of the Ring: Tales of Wrestlers and Boxers9. Freedom Games: The First Two Decades of Independence10. Domestic Sports: State, Club, Office, and Regiment (1947-1970)11. 1971 and After: The Religion Called Cricket12. Life Beyond CricketNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

Sen is to be applauded for writing such an ambitious book, enriching our understanding of the history of sport in India.