By Neeti Nair
Changing Homelands bargains a startling new point of view on what used to be and used to be now not politically attainable in overdue colonial India. during this hugely readable account of the partition within the Punjab, Neeti Nair rejects the concept that crucial alterations among the Hindu and Muslim groups made political cost very unlikely. faraway from being an inevitable resolution, the assumption of partition was once a truly past due, wonderful shock to nearly all of Hindus within the region.
In tracing the political and social historical past of the Punjab from the early years of the 20th century, Nair overturns the entrenched view that Muslims have been answerable for the partition of India. a few strong Punjabi Hindus additionally most popular partition and contributed to its adoption. virtually nobody, although, foresaw the deaths and devastation that will 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 ahead of and lengthy after the divide of 1947. She engages with politics in post-Partition India via drawing from oral histories that exhibit the advanced dating among reminiscence and history—a dating that keeps to notify politics among India and Pakistan.
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Extra resources for Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics and the Partition of India
20 17 CHANGING HOMELANDS Yet such a re-definition of priorities and patriotisms in 1901 and 1909 was markedly distinct from the understanding that emerged during the 1907 rural movement. In the spring of that year, the Punjab Council introduced a bill to amend the Colonisation Act regarding the terms of tenure on which land was held in the canal colonies. This measure coincided with other proposed changes: an increase in land revenue in the Rawalpindi District and an increase in the Bari Doab Canal rates at a time when peasants along the canal were threatened with crop failure.
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. But it was also evident that symbolic changes would not suffice. ” After a cursory list of other principal interests entitled to representation, the Punjab government concluded that appropriation on the basis of religion alone would suit popular sentiment; appropriation along lines of occupation would be very difficult to work.
Between Lahore and Peshawar, sadhus and fakirs were followed as they talked to people in railway compartments, on the road, and in schools. Reports of efforts to organize tribes in the NWFP were countered by British censorship. 27 Prominent Muslims confirmed that Hindu-Muslim disputes would be decided by their panchayats in the future. Muslims were also asked to be patient and conciliatory, even if the government engineered a dispute between them and the Hindus at any time. Abdulla Sahrawardi, former secretary of the London Pan-Islamic Society and the newly appointed principal of the Islamia College at Lahore, and Abdul Kadir, a barrister who had recently returned from England with a decoration from the 19 CHANGING HOMELANDS sultan of Turkey, offered the support of Muslim organizations.