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The Hindu: How Mysore grappled with modernity

By A. Srivathsan
The Hindu

nair_mysore coverHow did the State of Mysore, particularly the city, between the late 18th and the 20th century, depict the precarious position of the monarchy and inscribe its power or the lack of it? Despite its subservient role, did Mysore innovate socially and economically? If it did innovate, what kind of ‘enlightened modernity’ did it create and how was it staged?

Janaki Nair’s book Mysore Modern lucidly answers these questions through a set of eight essays. At one level it is a nuanced account of one of the big princely states which had many firsts to its credit from electrification of cities to funding birth control programmes. At another it is a fresh look at Mysore’s uneven and discontinuous experience with modernity till it became part of the newly formed state Karnataka.

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