Saturday, August 23, 2008

Portuguese India, the Politics of Print and a ambiguous Modernity

Between Empires: Print and Politics in Goa by Rochelle Pinto; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2007; pp 209, Rs 645. This book is the result of research undertaken for a PhD. Publishers however, usually impose restrictions of space and in such situations the author is often forced to make difficult choices and bear the responsibility of facing the consequences of those choices. Rochelle Pinto tells us that she seeks to explore print production in Goa, locating it within similar studies of print production in colonial India. Contrary to her own expectations, the evidence she gathered seemed to point to dissimilar processes in Goa and in colonial India. What could explain the difference? Her answer is: The different nature and guiding principles of the two colonial systems and the relations between the colonial states and their colonial elites. The two colonialisms are seen as historically and conceptually different. Print production in Goa had been generally identified with the Catholic elite, and that is where it stops in most histories of Goa. Pinto admits that her study too remains very far from an exhaustive representation of the responses to colonialism in 19th century Goa. Read the rest at: Teotónio R. de Souza