2 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
heterogenisation. A State standing upon such fragile ground had to be pre-eminently concerned with stability, and hence could ill-afford a complete merger of the political and the religious domains.
Krishna Mohan Shrimali's article, which also constitutes the text of an address by him to the Andhra Pradesh History Congress, is much more directly concerned with the debates among historians. While subscribing to the broad characterisation of early Indian society and polity as being feudal, Shrimali joins issue with a host of other concepts and paradigms. Of special interest here is his critique of Inden's Imagining India wherein he argues that it is not only orientalism that can be characterised as a colonial discourse, but even what has emerged in opposition to it, i.e. as its opposite.
We hope that our readers would find these essays useful and get from them a flavour of the current state of the debate among historians of early India, notwithstanding the fact that they were written originally for specialist history audiences.