Pamphlets have usually been regarded as ephemeral literature with little permanent impact. This work demonstrates the historical value of this genre of political literature. The propaganda pamphlets help historians place a finger on the pulse of an extraordinarily important historical period when new ideas concerning the nation-state, the rights of the governed and forms of political protest complicated the political scene and opened up new fronts of conflict between the colonial state and the colonized subjects. This study devises innovative approaches to reading these pamphlets and generates new insights into the world of the pamphleteers thus providing the readers with a more nuanced understanding of the politics and political culture of early twentieth-century Bengal. In the process, the book makes an important contribution to the historical controversies that the politics of this period has generated among scholars of Indian nationalism.
Shukla Sanyal is professor in the History Department at Presidency University, Kolkata. She also taught at the Department of History, University of Calcutta. Her research interests include the history of French Revolution with special focus on French rural society. She also works on the political culture of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Bengal specializing in the Revolutionary Nationalist movement of Bengal. Professor Sanyal is currently working on a project that explores the entangled histories of revolutionary ideologies of east and west with particular focus on twentieth-century Bengal.
Abbreviations; Glossary; Preface; Introduction; 1. The origins of an idea, 1905-18; 2. The signs of the times: constructing a nation; 3. Legitimizing violence; 4. The battle for domination: state repression of revolutionary pamphlets; 5. Summing up: an identity forged in battle; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.