U. V. Sambhu Prasad (Indian Institute of Science)
submitted: Sun, 30 Oct 1994 08:30:59 -0400
U.V. Sambhu Prasad
Centre for Ecological Sciences
Indian Institute of Science
Bangalore 560 012, INDIA
I am a historian, and recently finished my Ph.D. on late medieval history
of south India. I worked on human migrations and slave trade from India
during the mercantile phase. One of the most interesting results I got was
a strong correlation between famines and migrations between 1600-1800 AD.
In trying to find out more about the famines and their causes, I came to a
tentative conclusion that they happened only in regions which underwent a
recent change from multi cropping to mono cultivation. The causes for this
change are many. The social groups that got effected also have a telling
effect on the nature of the change. In this study I had to look at aspects
like post Vasco da Gama biota transfer. Social composition of the people
who migrated. I tried my hand at some degree of quantification also. Some
of the results are to be published soon. The mercantile powers I looked at
are Portuguese, Dutch and the English.
Apart from this I also did a study with Prof. Madhav Gadgil here, using
mtDNA, to see the migrations into India from very early times. This was
partly done with the collaboration with Dr. Cavalli-Sforza and his group
at Stanford Medical college. We plotted the migrations based on gene
frequencies on a spatial and temporal scale. We used other historical data
to cross check our findings. It is now published under the head "Peopling
of India" by Madhav Gadgil and U.V. Sambhu Prasad, by the Indian History
Congress and available for purchase. I am doing a more detailed and more
technical paper on the same lines now.
I am now running a project from here to see the actual changes in cropping
patterns, consumption habits, land holdings, social defiance mechanisms
etc. of groups of people in northern Karnataka and eastern Andhra Pradesh.
Apart from this I am involved in a few other activities like documenting
conservation ethics of earlier groups of people using sacred groves etc.
Those interested in my work or our Centres here can contact me.