1st Edition

The Second World War and North East India Shadows of Yesteryears

By Sima Saigal Copyright 2022
    224 Pages
    by Routledge India

    224 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This book discusses the untold story of North East India’s role during the Second World War and its resultant socio-economic and political impact. It goes beyond standard campaign histories and the epicentre of the Kohima-Imphal battlefields to the Brahmaputra and Surma Valley of Assam—the administrative and political hub of the region, where decisions on the allied war efforts were deliberated and effected right from the outset of the War. What happened in the entire region during the intervening years from 1939? What did the war mean for the people of Assam? How were resources from the region mobilized for the global war effort and how did people adapt, co-opt and survive during these tumultuous years? What was the response of the nationalist and provincial political leaders to the challenges and demands of war? How did the crisis of the 1942 war impact the region? First of its kind, this book investigates hitherto unanswered questions to offer an understanding of contemporary Assam and the North East, including discussions on the complexity of issues such as terrain, migration, taxation, profiteering, inflation, famine and food grain trade.

    With its lucid style and rich archival material, this volume will be essential for scholars and researchers of history, the Second World War, South Asian history, politics and international relations, colonial studies, sociology and social anthropology, and North East India studies as well as to the interested general reader.


    1. Mistaken Declarations

    2. Rallying for the War

    3. Exactions and Coercions

    4. From Burma to India

    5. The Crisis of 1942

    6. The Paradox of War

    7. On Hunger, Food Supplies and Profiteering

    8. The Politics of Famine

    9. In Jessami and Kharasom

    10. The Legacies





    Sima Saigal is Associate Professor at the North East Regional Institute of Education (NERIE-NCERT), Meghalaya, India. She has a PhD from North Eastern Hill University, Shillong and a post-doctoral degree from Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. She has been associated with NERIE-NCERT for 15 years and has been actively involved in the field of education. She has also worked on several research projects relating to human rights violation, peace and conflict resolutions in North East India.

    ‘A simple and lucid history fit for erudite scholars and general readers alike, this book tells the story of the Second World War fought on the Indian soil, while deftly braiding socio-economic and political developments in North East India. It brings new insights on the social and economic history of the region during the war, without offering a conventional military history. A must-read for anyone interested in the riveting history of the global war and its multiple ramifications in North East India.’

    Sajal Nag, former Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Distinguished Chair Professor in Social Sciences, Presidency University, Kolkata, India