Indian Freedom Struggle and Beyond: The Decade of the 40s

This special series intends to open an intellectual space for alternative readings of archival material on the histories of India’s independence. Our aim is not only to cover forgotten histories, but to uncover lesser-known empirical evidence from perspectives that have not been explored before within the purview of the nationalist imagination. This special series will borrow from as well as critically examine the category of “the beyond” as suggested by Gopal Guru in his article titled “The Idea of India: 'Derivative, Desi and Beyond'”. The category of the ‘beyond” is in sharp contrast to the traditionalist/revivalist idea of nation and nationalism and also distinct from the liberal imagination. The idea of discourse from the beyond, is meant to express different, dissonant and defiant perspectives, both in terms of substance as well as style. For this special series, we intend to invite papers that, in dialogue with this “beyond”, interpret cultural and political discourse during the period of modern Indian history in a manner that challenges the nationalist canon.

This paper will focus on the anti-Khoti peasant agitations held in rural Konkan by consulting Ambedkar’s newspaper Janata. Through the writings of Janata, we get a clearer picture of how political activism in Konkan in the 1930s was conducted under Ambedkar’s leadership. Janata thus highlights and...
The fight for independence from the colonial yoke gained momentum in the early 20th century. Anti-colonial sentiment reached its peak in the interwar period as a result of the mass movements initiated by Gandhi, and his ideas of “non-violence,” ‘boycott’ and ‘swadeshi’ had a significant impact on...
An emerging consensus among historians is that the Second World War played a key role in the decolonisation of South Asia. This article focuses on the Indian Air Force to point to the role of the war in the unmaking of the British Raj. Desperate to stem the tide of the advancing Japanese, colonial...
The sudra question is a complicated one in Indian sociology, history and politics, but it had an impact on a significant period of the Dravidian movement. Periyar E.V. Ramasamy referred to the non-Brahmin castes of South India, who did not belong to the ‘untouchable’ communities, as sudras, the...
The development of the mill industry in Bombay[1]  heavily relied on family, kinship, caste and patronage. Labour recruitment and organisation were also correlated to family, kinship, caste and patronage. The rise and growth of the Indian National Movement in Bombay was largely connected with caste...
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