India in Transition: 1930 – 1970

Covers key decades in modern India’s history – from 1920 to 1970 focussing on mass movements, political economy of development and imaginaries of nation building.

This course covers a period of roughly 50 years from 1920 to 1970. It revolves around three basic themes — mass movements, the political economy of development, and imageries of nation-building along linguistic, religious and regional lines.

The course starts with a broad survey of mass movements — Gandhian as well as non-Gandhian — and highlights the various impacts and contradictions of these mass movements. The question of political economy deals with the development and emergence of the Indian capitalist class as well as the Indian working class. 

The course dwells into the debates about the nature of this native’ capitalist class and its role and influence in the colonial period as well as on the newly emergent Indian nation-state. The course studies the linguistics, religious and regional aspirations of the subcontinent through the tumultuous 1930s and 40s, but does not stop there. Rather, it dives further into the nature of the post-colonial Indian state and traces the impact these aspirations have had on post-colonial development. 

To this end, the course specifically focuses on partition violence, the linguistic organisation of Indian states, and the integration of princely states into the Indian and Pakistani nations.