Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics and the Partition of by Neeti Nair

By Neeti Nair

Changing Homelands bargains a startling new viewpoint on what was once and was once no longer politically attainable in past due colonial India. during this hugely readable account of the partition within the Punjab, Neeti Nair rejects the concept that crucial changes among the Hindu and Muslim groups made political payment very unlikely. faraway from being an inevitable resolution, the assumption of partition used to be a truly past due, lovely shock to the vast majority of Hindus within the region.

In tracing the political and social heritage of the Punjab from the early years of the 20th century, Nair overturns the entrenched view that Muslims have been answerable for the partition of India. a few strong Punjabi Hindus additionally most well liked partition and contributed to its adoption. nearly nobody, even though, foresaw the deaths and devastation that may stick with in its wake.

Though a lot has been written at the politics of the Muslim and Sikh groups within the Punjab, Nair is the 1st historian to target the Hindu minority, either ahead of and lengthy after the divide of 1947. She engages with politics in post-Partition India through drawing from oral histories that show the advanced dating among reminiscence and history—a courting that keeps to notify politics among India and Pakistan.

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33 More wide-ranging repression ensued. 34 The deportations of Rai and Singh, however, suggested that a stance of loyalism would be appropriate. Even as a formal deputation of the Arya Samaj waited on the lieutenant governor, intelligence reports continued to bring news of HinduMuslim organisation. ” The use of itinerant lecturers and other religious preachers and the rapid increase in circulation of particularly “seditious” papers were noted: India of Gujranwala’s readership had grown from a few hundred to almost five thousand.

The use of itinerant lecturers and other religious preachers and the rapid increase in circulation of particularly “seditious” papers were noted: India of Gujranwala’s readership had grown from a few hundred to almost five thousand. ” But 21 CHANGING HOMELANDS the British were confident of the limits of this movement. 38 Zamindars were asked to continue agitating in areas where the Ordinance of 1907 did not apply. Punjabi leaders, including prominent women, raised funds for the defence of the convicted editors of the Hindustan and India newspapers, and to avenge the deportation of Lajpat Rai.

Despite evidence of multiple political identities, the British succeeded in emphasizing one such identity: that of belonging to a religious community. What did it actually mean to represent the entire community of Hindus or Muslims in British-controlled legislative arenas? The British posed the question to their trusted lieutenants in the field and they, in turn, courted native opinion. To trace the formation of a seemingly evident monochromatic political identity, we must pay attention to the framing of the question.

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