Documents on the Movement for Independence in India
Category: Historical, Political
Pages: 1288
Binding: Hard Cover

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Summary of the Book
Going beyond the legalistic notion of independence as a 'transfer of power', the Towards Freedom series documents within the overarching framework of the 'movement for independence' the largely unaddressed discourses on the struggles for social justice, economic empowerment, and cultural autonomy. Through meticulously ed historical material from the period 1937-47, relating to the activities, attitudes, and ideas of diverse sections of Indian society, it brings to the fore the varied contributions to the attainment of independence.

This volume, published in three parts, systematically covers the major socio-political developments during 1947, the year that saw the end of colonial rule and the emergence of two nation states. The first part pertains to the main political developments that took place in the three-way conflict between imperialist, nationalist, and communal forces. This story continues in the second part, which takes up the question of the princely states, the settlement of boundaries, and the rehabilitation of refugees, while the third traverses the issues of caste, religious minorities, language and literature, educational policy, the position of women, the future of the Congress organization, the functioning of provincial ministries, the economic consequences of partition, and the peasant and working class movements.

The documents in this part present multiple points of view, represented by a range of sources, from newspapers, private papers, institutional collections, speeches, and writings of principal players to colonial archives. The striking level of popular involvement in important issues is reflected in the delightful letters to the editors, maps of proposed boundary lines, cartoons with acerbic wit, and quaint advertisements, such as the one for a balm, titled 'Freedom from Pain', evidently inspired by the impending freedom of the country!
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