Author: Sucheta Mahajan
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170368367
The focus of the book is on the role of nationalist forces in the developing crisis of the colonial state in its last years. It critiques the agenda of Western-dominated scholarship on India and ploughs an impendent path in the writing of the history of the Indian people's struggle against imperialism.
The Sage Series in Modern Indian History brings together historical studies that share a broad common historiographic focus. This, the first volume in the series, is a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of a defining period in India’s recent part-the attainment of independence and the simultaneous division of the subcontinent. Exploring the interplay of imperial, national and communal forces during the freedom movement, Sucheta Mahajan highlights the contradictory reality of an independence that also brought partition in its wake. She provides an insightful view of an era which marked the end of colonial rule in India while being a crucial phase during which the foundations of independent India’s polity were laid.
Sucheta Mahajan establishes that Indian independence was neither a voluntary withdrawal nor a magnanimous gift from the British, but the inevitable result of the erosion of colonial power in the face of the nationalist challenge.
A special feature of the book-which is based on extensive research, interviews and hitherto unutilized documents-is that it treats independence and partition as inter-related themes. It also weaves together into an integral history the diverse strands of imperial policy, the national movement and communal politics.
With its bold new reassessment combined with its contemporary relevance, this book will be of considerable interest to students and scholars of modern Indian history, the freedom movement and partition, as well as to all those in the fields of sociology and political science.
Series Editors’ Preface
PART I: BACKGROUND
Nationalist Activity and Government response at the End of the War
Planning of the Political Offer, the Simla Conference and its Breakdown
PART II: IMPERIALISM AND NATIONALISM
Congress Strategy and Popular Nationalist Activity
Popular Movements: Myth and Reality
Imperial Hegemony and Colonial Policy
PART III: IMPERIALISM, NATIONALISM AND COMMUNALISM
Unite and Quit
Decide on a Date and Quit
Divide and Quit
PART IV: NATIONALISM AND COMMUNALISM
Congress and the Muslim League’s Demand for Pakistan
Two Faces of Hindu Communalism: Majority Reaction, Minority Fears
Hindu Communal Pressure on the Congress
PART V: DENOUEMENT
Congress Accepts Partition
Why Gandhi Accepted the Decision to Partition India
About the Author