Decolonization in South Asia: Meanings of Freedom in by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay

By Sekhar Bandyopadhyay

This booklet explores the meanings and complexities of India’s adventure of transition from colonial to the post-colonial interval. It makes a speciality of the 1st 5 years – from independence on fifteenth August 1947 to the 1st basic election in January 1952 – within the politics of West Bengal, the hot Indian province that was once created as a result Partition.


The writer, a expert at the background of recent India, discusses what freedom really intended to numerous members, groups and political events, how they answered to it, how they prolonged its that means and the way of their anxiousness to confront the realities of loose India, they started to invent new enemies in their newly bought freedom. by means of emphasising the representations of well known mentality instead of the institutional alterations introduced in by way of the method of decolonization, he attracts recognition to different issues and anxieties that have been concerning the issues of coming to phrases with the newly completed freedom and the accountability of devising self reliant ideas of governance that may swimsuit the ancient wishes of a pluralist country.


Decolonization in South Asia analyses the transitional politics of West Bengal in mild of modern advancements in postcolonial thought on nationalism, treating the ‘nation’ as an area for contestation, instead of a ordinary breeding floor for homogeneity within the advanced political situation of post-independence India. it's going to entice lecturers drawn to political technology, sociology, social anthropology and cultural and Asian studies.


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Additional resources for Decolonization in South Asia: Meanings of Freedom in Post-independence West Bengal, 1947–52 (Routledge Studies in South Asian History)

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Written under a pseudonym, it captures the environment of corruption in post-independence West Bengal so aptly that it deserves to be quoted at length here. Onkarnath has decided that he will steal. In his mind he has gone through all the arguments that he believes exist in favour of and against stealing. Why shall I steal? 1 Everyone is stealing in his or her respective fields. 2 A successful thief is never disparaged; on the contrary, he gains in social status. 3 If you do not steal you cannot maintain your family – let alone ideology.

Birupaksha writes that you cannot put anything in your bags, at the most you can only touch them and come home. He speaks of a scarcity of almost everything – of cloth, coal, kerosene, sugar, public transport, rented houses, jobs and seats in educational institutions. D. O. 111 That the situation had already spun out of control was signalled by what happened in Cooch Behar on 21 April 1951. Traditionally a surplus area in terms of food production, this erstwhile Princely State joined the Indian Union on 1 January 1950 and was integrated into the economy of the border region of north Bengal, which was already a deficit area.

156 On 28 September 1950 he told the Assembly that the government had two instruments to deal with black marketeering, one was the Black Marketeering Act and the other was the Essential Supplies Act. Under the first Act, which dealt with substantial wholesalers, in the last six months there were 16 cases, out of which three ended in conviction, seven were still before the special Tribunal and one had to be withdrawn. And under the second Act, 1,815 persons in Calcutta and 3,621 persons in the districts had been prosecuted during the same period, and out of them 1,418 and 2,734 cases respectively ended in conviction.

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