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How the Horse Shaped India
Mapping the Diverse Historical Experience of the Horse
In her book The Tale of the Horse: A History of India on Horseback, Yashaswini Chandra follows the trail of the animal into and within India until the decline of ‘the age of the horse’ with the onset of colonial rule and mechanisation. It includes both the life of horses in India as well as their role in the history of the subcontinent. She emphasises the diverse experience of the horse towards a total history surrounding it. This is reflected in the diversity of sources that inform the book, encompassing textual and art-historical ones as well as oral traditions.
The different, technical, social and cultural, aspects of the book will be discussed in a panel by the author in conversation with equine veterinarian Dr Hasneyn Mirza, and Anirudh Kanisetti. The discussion will be illustrated by telling images, and Chandra will examine the multifarious manifestations of the horse across Indian art as well as some examples of historical sites associated with it.
This is a BIC Hybrid event, i.e. the event will take place at BIC and will also be streamed online. Please register with firstname.lastname@example.org to attend in person.
Yashaswini Chandra has a PhD in History of Art from SOAS University of London, where she was also a teaching fellow. She has been guest/visiting faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Ashoka University, Sonipat. She worked for Sahapedia, an open online resource on the arts, cultures and histories of India, for many years, managing the multi-volume documentation of the Rashtrapati Bhavan and an institutional collaboration with Rupayan Sansthan, Jodhpur. She previously co-edited Right of the Line: The President’s Bodyguard on the household cavalry of the head of state. Yashaswini is an avid horsewoman and has an interest in animal history.
Dr Hasneyn Mirza is a veterinarian with nearly forty years of experience of working with horses. After graduating from Mysore Veterinary College, Bangalore, he worked on Kehelan Stud Farm and is consultant to many owners, trainers, stud farms and the Royal Calcutta Turf Club. His family has been in the horse business for six generations.
Anirudh Kanisetti is a researcher and writer. His work straddles technology, geopolitics and history. He is the host of two podcasts about Indian history: Echoes of India and Yuddha, and one on policy: All Things Policy. For his podcasts and work on history communication on social media, he received the New Indian Express’ 2020 edition of the 40 Under 40 Award.