By Neeti Nair
Changing Homelands bargains a startling new point of view on what was once and used to be no longer politically attainable in overdue colonial India. during this hugely readable account of the partition within the Punjab, Neeti Nair rejects the concept crucial adjustments among the Hindu and Muslim groups made political cost most unlikely. faraway from being an inevitable answer, the assumption of partition was once a really overdue, beautiful shock to nearly all of Hindus within the region.
In tracing the political and social heritage of the Punjab from the early years of the 20 th century, Nair overturns the entrenched view that Muslims have been accountable for the partition of India. a few strong Punjabi Hindus additionally most well-liked partition and contributed to its adoption. nearly not anyone, although, foresaw the deaths and devastation that might keep on with in its wake.
Though a lot has been written at the politics of the Muslim and Sikh groups within the Punjab, Nair is the 1st historian to target the Hindu minority, either earlier than and lengthy after the divide of 1947. She engages with politics in post-Partition India via drawing from oral histories that display the advanced courting among reminiscence and history—a courting that maintains to notify politics among India and Pakistan.
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Additional resources for Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics and the Partition of India
90 Many others cloaked their suggestions in a veneer of subservience. ” Other Punjabis also desired representatives who were not chosen on the basis of special interests. Although several revealed a strong awareness of their class origins, they often transcended the confines of their own class and religious community in their alternate proposals. In summation, the Punjab government reduced a range of very rich opinion to foreground their preferences. Attuned to viewing the Orient with religious- and racial-tinted lenses, native opinions were classified along 35 CHANGING HOMELANDS lines of religion and race; Hindu and Muslim, official and non-official, and European opinions were listed separately.
The rioters and abettors are practically all Hindus, and the trial was from the beginning looked upon as a tug-of-war between the Hindu and Musalman communities. Though the events of 2nd May occurred in open daylight in the face of the whole city, we find that practically all the witnesses are Musalmans; scarcely a Hindu could be got to give evidence. ”30 Pan-Hindu, Arya-led, or Hindu-Muslim, the movement had ruffled too many feathers across western Punjab. Despite their differences in method, Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh were clubbed together in Lieutenant Governor Ibbetson’s Minute of May 3, 1907, which argued for their deportation.
The British posed the question to their trusted lieutenants in the field and they, in turn, courted native opinion. To trace the formation of a seemingly evident monochromatic political identity, we must pay attention to the framing of the question. In the circular originally posted by the Home Department, the predominance of lawyers in district boards and provincial councils was identified as a problem. The circular noted that of the 338 non-official members who had been appointed to the provincial councils since 1893, 36 percent were lawyers and only 22 percent landowners.