1st Edition

Subalterns and Raj
South Asia since 1600

ISBN 9780415214841
Published November 21, 2007 by Routledge
420 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description


Subalterns and Raj presents a unique introductory history of India with an account that begins before the period of British rule, and pursues the continuities within that history up to the present day. Its coverage ranges from Mughal India to post-independence Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with a focus on the ‘ordinary’ people of India and South Asia.

Subalterns and Raj examines overlooked issues in Indian social history and highlights controversies between historians. Taking an iconoclastic approach to the elites of South Asia since independence, it is critical of the colonial regime that went before them.

This book is a stimulating and controversial read and, with a detailed guide to further reading and end-of-chapter bibliographies, it is an excellent guide for all students of the Indian subcontinent.

Table of Contents

1. History, Society and Culture of the Indian Subcontinent  2. The Decline of Mughal India and Rise of European Dominion  3. Social and Economic Change in the Early 19th Century and the 'Era of Reform'  4. Peasant Resistance, Rebellion and the Uprising of 1857  5. Zenith of Empire: Economic and Social Conditions in the Late 19th Century  6. Revivalist and Reform Movements in the Late 19th Century  7. The Swadeshi and Ghadr Movements  8. Aftermath of World War One and M.K. Gandhi’s Rise to Power  9. Non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience 1920–1939  10. Quit India and Partition: 1939–1947  11. Pakistan and Bangladesh Post–1947  12. The Nehruvian Era  13. Indira Gandhi: Progress, Poverty and Authoritarian Rule  14. Local Patriotism and Centre-State Relations  15. Rajiv Gandhi and the Demise of the Congress System  16. Colonial and Postcolonial Sri Lanka: The Dilemmas of National Identity  17. Neo-Nationalism and the Challenge of Democracy  18. India and her Neighbours in the New Millennium

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Crispin Bates is Reader in Modern South Asian History at the University of Edinburgh. His publications include, with S. Basu, Community, Empire and Migration: South Asians in Diaspora (2001), Rethinking Indian Political Institutions (2005), and Beyond Representation: Constructions of Identity in Colonial and Post-Colonial India (2006).


'A remarkable accomplishment – a survey that is very accessible but nevertheless thoughtful, deeply argumentative, and marked by several critical insights ... The book is remarkably appropriate as a provocation with which to teach modern South Asia history.'Journal of Asian Studies

'It is widely acknowledged that Crispin Bates’ Subalterns and Raj ranks among the best general overviews of South Asian history since the turn of the millennium.' - Michael Mann, South Asian’s Modern History: Thematic Perspectives (Routledge, 2015), p. 11.