Congress and The Raj - Facets of the Indian Struggle 1917-47

Congress and The Raj - Facets of the Indian Struggle 1917-47

Product ID: 14036

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Author: D A Low
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 511
ISBN/UPC (if available): 019567054X


The essays collected here constitute a significant study of the national movement and popular politics in modern India. Their enduring significance is suggested by a move away from studying the mainstream nationalist discourse to focus on the less-eulogized facets of the anti-imperialist movement at the village, city, region, and provincial levels.

D A Low, the editor of this volume was the founder of the Canberra-Sussex school that initiated the transition from elite to popular historiography. This new edition carries a Foreword, by Rajat Kanta Ray, a leading contemporary historian, that grounds the work and supplies the reason for the revival of this classic. He narrates an interesting anecdotal history of the historiography of Congress and the Raj and the resultant intellectual debate that raged at the time.

In his introduction, Low underlines the fact that the transfer of power came about not through any war of independence but partly because of the ability of the Congress to win over peasant communities which ironically the British had enfranchised.

The contributors include leading scholars: Ravinder Kumar, Brian Stoddart, Judith Brown, Gyanendra Pandey, DEU Baker, James Manor, and Robin Jeffrey among others. Their chapters cover Conges politics in Bombay, coastal Andhra Pradesh, the United Provinces, Central Provinces, Berar, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Rohilkhand besides looking at the civil disobedience movement led by Gandhi, the peasant agitations in Gujarat, and Gandhian politics in Mysore.

This valuable collection will be cherished by those concerned with the history of nationalism and imperialism as well as the origins of post-Independence politics in India. It will be of particular interest to scholars and students of history, politics, and the lay reader.


The book is a valuable addition to the historiography of modern India. The essays provide a useful summary of the various theories in general circulation; a critical examination of them enables us to monitor recent trends in the historiography of Indian nationalism and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of current interpretations of the political economy of the Indian countryside.
-B R Tomlinson, university of Strathclyde, Scotland

The articles gather together, illustrative maps, many new historical sources, facts from autobiographical accounts in the regional languages, as well as from interviews with contemporary local level leadership and little-used revenue and agricultural economic manuals, to yield a mine of information to new research workers.
-Barun De, University of Calcutta

Congress and the Raj, brings the work of a number of scholars to bear on the three decades during which the British government faced an overt and sustained challenge to the legitimacy of its very presence in India.
-David Taylor, School of Oriental and African Studies, London







The Crisis of the lesser Patidars: peasant agitations in Kheda District, Gujarat, 1917-34

From Swaraj to Purna Swaraj: nationalist politics in the city of Bombay, 1920-34

The structure of Congress politics in coastal Andhra, 1925-37

The role of a national leader: Gandhi, Congress and civil disobedience, 1929-34

Civil martial law: The Government of India and the civil disobedience movements, 1930-34

A rural base for Congress: the United Provinces, 1920-40

The changing leadership of the Congress in the Central Provinces and Berar, 1919-39

The politics of coalescence: the Congress in Tamilnad 1930-37

Unity on trial: Congress in Bihar, 1929-39

Kisan populism and revolution in rural India: the 1942 disturbances in Bihar and east United Provinces

Co-operation or confrontation? War and Congress politics 1939-42

The problem of freedom with unity: London's India policy, 1917-47

Gandhian politics and the challenge to princely authority in Mysore, 1936-47

A sanctified label-Congress in Travancore politics, 1938-48

From one Raj to another: Congress politics in Rohilkhand, 1930-50