An Advanced History Modern India has been designed for undergraduate students as well as those preparing for the Civil Services Examinations at both, the central and state levels. It is a daunting task to write a book of this kind when dynamic changes have occurred in the last three decades in the historiography of modern India, including the advent of Subaltern Studies, that has changed our perspective completely. This user-friendly textbook attempts to weave the known facts of history with the unknown, and thus foster a spirit of enquiry among its young readers. Apart from political history, due emphasis has been laid on socio-economic changes, administrative innovations, cultural ferments and the trials and tribulations of nationalist movements. Due importance has also been given to the post- independence era that led to the emergence of a new India vibrant with a fresh lease of life.
Adequately illustrated with maps, this volume also contains a detailed chronology, biographical notes on distinguished personalities notes on distinguished personalities, a list of Congress sessions including names of Prime Ministers, Presidents and Vice-Presidents of independent India as well as an exhaustive bibliography.
Sailendra Nath Sen, formerly Professor of History, University of Calcutta, and Fellow, Asiatic Society. He has done pioneering work on the history of the Marathas and published several books on them, including Anglo-Maratha Relations during the Administration of Warren Hastings, 1772-1785 (1961, repr. 1994) and Anglo-Maratha Relations, 1785-1796 (1974, 1994). His two-volume project on the history of the Marathas entitled Fall of the Maratha Empire, 1796-1818, will be out soon. Professor Sen's other publications include Ancient Indian History and Civilization (3rd edn., 2016), History of the Freedom Movement in India (4th edn., 2009), A Textbook of Indian History and Culture (2007, repr. 2017), Chandemagore: From Bondage to Freedom, 1900-1955 (2012), and A Textbook of Medieval Indian History (2012, repr. 2017).
The two popular books that hold the sway in the historiography of modern India are Oxford History of India by Vincent Smith (edited by Percival Spear) and An Advanced History of India by Majumdar, Raychaudhuri and Datta. But more than thirty years have elapsed since the publication of the latest editions without any replenishment of facts provided by latest researches except some flicker of information of post-independence era provided in the Advanced History of India.
Historical researches on modern India have proceeded so dramatically in the last three decades that it is worth undertaking a project to produce a book of this kind incorporating the fragmented fruits of latest researches including the pioneering works of scholars in 'subaltern studies: While focussing attention on political vicissitudes that shaped and sustained the British hegemony in India, I have tried to show the Indian response to dynamic changes. Some of the episodes like the spasmodic anti-Raj uprisings and tribal and peasant movements in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries have found place in the narrative.
The texture of Modern Indian History must be interwoven with socio-economic changes and cultural ferments without which the bold narrative becomes dull and monotonous. The trials and tribulations of the nationalist movements till the attainment of independence have been illuminated by vast plethora of material and new insights reflected in recent historical works. Due emphasis has been laid on intellectual history both in British India and post-independence era that led to the emergence of a new India—vibrant with a new lease of life. As unprecedented changes have taken place in the second half of the twentieth century especially after the attainment of independence, I have tried to follow the turbulent course of Indian history in these tumultuous years with true historical perspective without being tinged with political dogma or any bias. The resilience and weakness of Indian democracy, the achievements and failures of independent India have been reconstructed with objectivity keeping in mind Lord Acton's dictum that history to be above evasion or doubts must be based on facts and not on reason.
A detailed chronology, biographical notes on distinguished personalities, list of Congress Sessions with years, venues, names of Presidents and a formidable list of bibliography have been appended to enable the readers and the students to satisfy their craving for information in a single volume. My labour will be amply rewarded if the book fosters a spirit of research among the younger generation in the variegated fields of modern India.
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