First History Lessons: The Languages of Our Country
1 March 2023
First History Lessons: The Languages of Our Country is the English language translation of the book Itihase Hatekhari: Desher Bhasha. The Bengali original was written by Debarati Bagchi, a senior research fellow at the Max Weber Forum for South Asian Studies, New Delhi. Arunava Sinha, co-director of the Ashoka Centre for Translation at Ashoka University, worked on this English translation. The book is part of the project ‘Revisiting the Craft of History Writing for Children’ undertaken by the Institute of Development Studies Kolkata and sponsored by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, New Delhi. The other books published under the project include: Itihase Hatekhari: Desher Manush or The People of our Country and Itihase Hatekhari: Deshvaag or The Partition. The books, aimed at young readers, have been illustrated by patachitra artists Ranjit and Sirajudaulla Chitrakar. Desher Bhasha or The Languages of Our Country examines the politics of language in India and how it creates conditions for the rise of differences and hierarchies within a population based on the languages they speak. The book uses the Bangla language as an example, tracing its history from the British rule to the partition of India and beyond...