The Partition of India by Haimanti Roy
Even after 70 years, the Partition of India, we continue to grapple with its histories, memories and legacies within our contemporary society. It remains in the memories of those families and individuals who lived through the trauma of violence and uprooting, the loss of life and the travails of survival.
This short introduction provides a comprehensive account of the causes, experience and aftermath of the division and its legacies in the South Asian subcontinent. The author highlights the three aspects of the Partition: it was not a pre-destined ‘clash of civilizations’ between Hindus and Muslims; it was long drawn out process spanning beyond a decade rather than confined to the year 1947; and third, there is no single template to understand the experiences of dislocation, rehabilitation, migration and violence in Bengal and Punjab.
The book brings together the contextual histories of causality, of violence and loss, and of nation making and introduces its readers to major scholarly debates in a brief but succinct manner. In so doing, it urges them to reflect on the multiplicity of meanings of 1947 and its relevance in framing and understanding the challenges faced in South Asia today.
About the Author:
Author Haimanti Roy, Associate Professor, University of Dayton, Ohio, USA
Haimanti Roy teaches history at the University of Dayton, US. Her previously published works include ‘Partitioned Lives: Migrants, Refugees and Citizens in India and Pakistan, 1947-1965’ (OUP 2013).
Towards Freedom, Documents on the Movement for Independence in India, 1942
The Towards Freedom volumes, each edited by a distinguished scholar, bring together historical materials relating to the period 1937-47 from a wide variety of sources — official records, private and organizational papers, newspapers, and other contemporary publications available within the country. The series presents documents relating to the activities, attitudes, and ideas of diverse classes and sections of Indian society, all of which contributed to the attainment of independence with partition.
This volume in two parts covers 1942, the year of the largest and powerful mass protest — the Quit India movement. This first part of the volume brings together primary sources and archival documents for the period January 1942 to August 1942 and explores the emergence of the ground for the Quit India movement. The documents in Part I cover the entire period from the Bardoli Congress to Allahabad Congress and the beginning of the preparation for the Quit India movement. It includes all the significant milestones which require critical appraisal including the Cripps Mission, Student Politics, Communists, Kisan Sabha movements, Congress Socialist Party, Women and Dalit organizations and protests, the Forward Bloc and the Radical Democratic Party, and the communal problem.
Bringing together documents on such a diverse range of dimensions of the mass protest movements this volume tackles one of the most significant struggles against the colonial government which paved the way for independence. This volume on 1942 maps the events of the most crucial period of the independence of India.
About the Author:Edited by Bipan Chandra, Salil Misra, Visalakshi Menon, and Sabyasachi Bhattacharya
Bipan Chandra is former Professor of History, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Salil Misra is Professor, School of Liberal Studies, Ambedkar University, Delhi.
Visalakshi Menon is Associate Professor, Department of History, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi
Sabyasachi Bhattacharya is former Chairman, Indian Council of Historical Research. Earlier he was the Vice Chancellor of Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, and has previously taught at Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Roads to Freedom: Prisoners in Colonial India by Mushirul Hasan
This book examines the history of prison and prisoners in colonial India. Based on substantial archival research, it presents the conditions of the prisoners, their vision for the freedom movement and the various aspects of prisons in the subcontinent. By focusing on the lives and motivations of select prisoners, it places their lived experiences within the larger rubric of Indian nationalism and explores the notions of the political, protest and resistance during the first half of the twentieth century. The work also deals with issues such as the differences between Indian and European prisons as well as the conception of criminal classes in the colony. It therefore fills in a gap area in modern Indian history and provides a historical context to the contemporary Indian prison system. It draws upon a wide range of sources including the records at the National Archives of India, private papers, native newspaper reports, memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies.
About the Author: Mushirul Hasan, is former Professor of History, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. His previous positions include Director General, National Archives of India, New Delhi (2010-13), and Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (2004-9). He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007.
A Republic in the Making: India in the 1950s by Gyanesh Kudaisya
The 1950s were a momentous decade in India’s contemporary history, marked by dramatic events and colossal challenges. A Republic in the Making looks at India’s uncertain trajectory as it evolved in the years after Independence. Its narrative conveys a sense of the hopes and aspirations, dilemmas and anxieties of the political leadership in those times. It offers insights into how India came to be transformed in significant ways in those years to anchor itself as a resilient, democratic polity, increasingly coming to terms with societal heterogeneity. It considers the key ideas, paths, and trajectories which were articulated in the 1950s and have left an imprint upon the Republic’s fabric. The values and personalities from that decade continue to remain a frame of reference, a benchmark for public life in India.
About the author: Gyanesh Kudaisya is Associate Professor in South Asian history at the National University of Singapore. A specialist in contemporary history, he obtained a doctorate from the University of Cambridge.
Indian Democracy by Suhas Palshikar
India’s democracy often receives extreme responses of exaggerated appreciation or enlarged criticism. It is necessary that public debates on democracy in India are based on a more informed analysis. This short introduction will help the reader to put the various debated issues in perspective and arrive at a critical appreciation of the endeavour called democracy. The book takes the reader through a tour of key issues of contestations and mobilization that have occupied the terrain of democratic politics in India. Calling India’s democracy ‘work in progress’, this short tract draws attention to the central paradoxes of Indian democracy. While taking a long term view of democracy, the book is alive to the more contemporary challenges as well. Readers may agree or disagree, but they cannot ignore the central argument that while India’s democracy wades through many paradoxes, it faces the challenge of distortion if majoritarian tendencies become pervasive and if the core feature of diversity is weakened. This book is a timely warning about the possibilities and distortions that democracy in India contains.
Suhas Palshikar is co-director of Lokniti, a research programme on comparative democracy, based at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, and chief editor of Studies in Indian Politics, a SAGE journal.
Partition of India Why 1947? by Kaushik Roy
The year 1947 was a turning point in the history of South Asia. The independence of British India resulted in two sovereign states: India and Pakistan. This book analyses two important dimensions of the Partition-timing and causation. The essays by prominent scholars study the long- and short-term causes of the Partition, beginning with the elections of 1936-7 and the subsequent formation of Congress government in most provinces. They outline the major debates and their changing nature over time. The volume ends with the analysis of events that led to the acceptance of the Partition plan in 1947 by all major parties. The Introduction examines contours of the debate and also situates the Partition in the context of current historiography. This book will be of considerable interest to scholars and students of modern Indian history and politics.
About the Author:
Kaushik Roy is Reader, Department of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He is also Senior Researcher, Centre for the Study of Civil War, International Peace Research Institute, Norway.