ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Sudhir ChandraSubscribe to Sudhir Chandra

Emergence of the Congress

Emergence of the Congress Sudhir Chandra The Emergence of the Indian National Congress by S R Mehrotra; Vikas Publications, 1971; pp 461; Rs 60, TILL about a decade back Indian nationalism used to be treated as almost co-extensive with the Indian National Congress. The significant events necessarily preceding it rarely received more than an introductory survey. Application of serious research techniques and efforts in order to understand the nature and course of Indian nationalism, however, has underlined the importance of analysing the background to the Indian National Congress. The result has been a series of books attempting a comprehensive account of the developments that eventually paved the way for the Congress. Mehrotra's is the most exhaustive work in this series.

Poorly Conceived, Worse Executed

Poorly Conceived, Worse Executed Sudhir Chandra Khilafat to Partition: A Survey of Major Political Trends among Indian Muslims during 1919-1947 by Moin Shakir; Kalamkar Prakashan, New Delhi, 1970; pp xxiv+300; Rs 35.

British Policy and Birth of Congress

British Policy and Birth of Congress Sudhir Chandra THE melancholy of reviewing a posthumous work is in the present case deepened by the thought that Briton Martin, Jr was Just thirty-eight at the time of his death, and still collecting material in Poona. That he was working in India indicates his realisation that a study like the one he had undertaken, involving interaction between British official policy and Indian public opinion, could not be complete without thorough acquaintance with contemporary Indian sources, only a few of which he had been able to see in England. In a sense, therefore, the work is incomplete, not really approximating to the idea the author had in mind. And yet this is the most detailed and comprehensive account of a crucial year pregnant with epochal developments in the history of modem India. Here is the kind of study that is required by the paucity of known facts about modern India, the kind that alone can make possible macro- studies and fairly reliable interpretations and generalisations.

Hindu Conservatism in the Nineteenth Century

On the basis of relatively untrustworthy modern Indian historiography, sweeping generalisations, highly favourable to the Hindus and the reverse for the Muslims, are being attempted to prove that in the task of nation-building in India, the Hindus have a dominant role to play because they have a continuing tradition of progressive reformism and dynamism.

Not the Substance

ing him as 'a scholar and an idealist'. And a hundred pities that in a work of over four hundred pages there are just thirty pages containing the "Minor Scripta and Dicta of K M Ashraf. With the resources at his command, the editor, by putting in a little more effort, could have acquired and published the stray writings and speeches and letters of Ashraf, especially the letters since Ashraf was a beautiful prose writer. The editor could also have published excerpts from the notes of this great scholar who belonged to that genre of intellectual workers whose perfectionism makes them just read and read and think, always postponing writing, oblivious to the ultimate logic of life.

Mission to Lhasa

 uniform quality control. The other factor to the long-run competitiveness of our manufactures vis-a-vis the exports of advanced and already industrialised nations, price-wise. Lower price, however, requires higher labour productivity relative to the wage rate, or, lower wages relative to a given level of productivity. Lower wage rate, in turn requires stabilised price of rice at a low level It is in this sense that price stabilisation of rice is a precondition of success in our drive for export promotion. To sacrifice price stabilisation of foodgrains in order to achieve export promotion through trade liberalisation cannot but be fell- defeating in the long run.


 community for no such needs existed in the overall political and economic Lane. It seems obvious to us that the reality of the last hundred years as also of today could not be dual, It could not be that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians were one nation as well as being separate nations according to their religions. For that reason both nationalism and communalism could not be equally valid or correct representations of the abjective reality. This does not mean of course!, that so cial and economic tensions did not prevail among the people or that these divisions did not find reflection in politics. But it does mean that communalism was neither a valid reflection of the Indian struggle against imperialism nor of the social and economic tensions of Indian society. It was and is a red herring thrown across the analytical understanding of the politics of Indian nationalism and, from a more limited point of view, of analytical history.

Hash on Nationalism

Hash on Nationalism Sudhir Chandra The Renaissance to Militant Nationalism in India by Sankar Ghose; Allied Publishers, 1969; pp x + 387; Rs 25.

A Counterpoint of Preconceptions

Communalism and the Writing of Indian History by Romila Thapar Harbans Mukhia and Bipan Chandra; People's Publishing House ; THE dirty connotation acquired by the term communal seems to exercise an obsessive hold on the Indian mind. It shows how the reputation of a word, the result of a changing social or political reality, can limit, even vitiate, men's understanding of the reality itself. Two of the three articles in this collection give the impression that, to deny the existence of communalism is the best way to ensure secularism. This brings to mind Ernst Fischer's perspicacious observation that Marxists have erred fundamentally in ignoring religion as a motivating factor.

Prophets in Reverse

Jallianwala Bagh by V N Datta ; Lyall Book Depot, Ludhiana; 1969; pp x 183 ; Rs 15.50.

The Czech Tragedy

August 16, 1969 been possible with the staple products of an earlier stage of the industrial revolution. Notwithstanding tariffs, therefore, international trade played only a negligible role in pushing up the domestic consumer price level.

Martyr of Central Europe

Martyr of Central Europe Sudhir Chandra From Prague After Munich : Diplomatic Papers 1938-1940 by George F Kennan, Princeton University Press, 1968 ; pp xxviii 266.


Back to Top