Critical Perspectives on Empire: Gentlemanly Terrorists: Political Violence and the Colonial State in India, 1919-1947

Critical Perspectives on Empire: Gentlemanly Terrorists: Political Violence and the Colonial State in India, 1919-1947

By: Durba Ghosh (author)Hardback

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In Gentlemanly Terrorists, Durba Ghosh uncovers the critical place of revolutionary terrorism in the colonial and postcolonial history of modern India. She reveals how so-called 'Bhadralok dacoits' used assassinations, bomb attacks, and armed robberies to accelerate the departure of the British from India and how, in response, the colonial government effectively declared a state of emergency, suspending the rule of law and detaining hundreds of suspected terrorists. She charts how each measure of constitutional reform to expand Indian representation in 1919 and 1935 was accompanied by emergency legislation to suppress political activism by those considered a threat to the security of the state. Repressive legislation became increasingly seen as a necessary condition to British attempts to promote civic society and liberal governance in India. By placing political violence at the center of India's campaigns to win independence, this book reveals how terrorism shaped the modern nation-state in India.

About Author

Durba Ghosh is Associate Professor at Cornell University, New York. Her research interests focus on understanding the history of British colonialism on the Indian subcontinent, the history of colonial governance and law, gender, sexuality, and the tensions between security and democracy in modern liberal democracies, such as India and the United States. Previous works include Sex and the Family in Colonial India: The Making of Empire (Cambridge, 2006), Decentring Empire: Britain, India and the Transcolonial World (co-edited with Dane Kennedy, 2006), and a number of articles and chapters for the Oxford Handbook of the History of Terrorism, the American Historical Review, Gender and History, and Modern Asian Studies.


Introduction; 1. The reforms of 1919: Montagu-Chelmsford, the Rowlatt Act, Jails Commission, and the Royal Amnesty; 2. The history of revolutionary terrorism through autobiography; 3. After Chauri Chaura: the revival and repression of revolutionary terrorism; 4. After the Chittagong Armoury Raid: revolutionary terrorism in the 1930s; 5. From political prisoner to security prisoner; 6. Revolutionary autobiographies: postcolonial tellings of nationalist history; Conclusion.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781107186668
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 290
  • ID: 9781107186668
  • weight: 600
  • ISBN10: 1107186668

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