The book provides a first hand account by a retired British official of conditions in the north of the Indian subcontinent on the eve of the British departure in 1947. The author during the course of a horseback journey of over 1400 miles from Peshawar to the Central Provinces, between November 1946 and April 1947, talked with hundreds of peasants and local wayside travelers and officials. The final part of the book which was written after independence and the creation of Pakistan pulls together the insights these interviews raised with respect to politics, economic conditions and changing social attitudes and family life.
Sir Malcolm Lyall Darling, I.C.S. Assistant Commissioner, Punjab 1904; Tutor and Guardian to His Highness the Raja of Dewas 1907; Financial Commissioner, Punjab 1936.
INTRODUCTION ; PART ONE: PESHAWAR TO DELHI ; 1. The North-West Frontier ; 2. The Northern Punjab ; 3. To the Chenab and Beyond ; 4. Across the Beas to the Sutlej ; 5. Sutlej to Jumna ; 6. The United Provinces-Saharanpur to Delhi ; PART TWO: DELHI TO JUBBULPORE ; 7. Delhi to Agra ; 8. Agra to Jhansi-Three Indian States ; 9. Bundelkhand-Jhansi to the Vindhyas ; 10. The Central Provinces ; EPILOGUE ; PART THREE: IMPRESSIONS AND REFLECTIONS ; 11. Politics ; 12. The Administration ; 13. Change in the Village ; APPENDIX-NOTE ON WAGES AND PRICES, 1946-7 ; GLOSSARY ; INDEX