P46
Chandni Chowk to Chauri Chaura: the transformation of the Indian political landscape, 1912-1922

Convenors:
Kim Wagner (Queen Mary, University of London)
Michael Mann (Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin)
Location:
Room 111
Start time:
27 July, 2016 at 17:45
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This panel seeks to re-assess the transformation of the Indian political landscape beyond the First World War, by exploring a new periodization; one that reflects global as well as local developments, and takes into account both long- and short-term factors.

Long abstract:

The assassination attempt against Viceroy Lord Hardinge in Chandni Chowk in December 1912, and the killing of 23 Indian policemen at the hands of local rioters at Chauri Chaura in February 1922, marks the beginning and the end of what is arguably the most significant decade of change in India during the first half of the twentieth century. The decade was witness to the activities of anti-colonial nationalism assuming a truly global scope, the emergence of Gandhian politics and the short-lived co-operation of the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. The contradictory impulses of British colonial policies furthermore led to the irreparable break in the relations between rulers and ruled following the 1919 Punjab disturbances. Within the conventional historiography on British India, however, the First World War still over-determines the manner in which the events of the decade are conceived. If the relentless and ongoing commemoration of 1914-18 has taught us anything, it is surely that a periodization derived from an exclusively Eurocentric perspective is of limited use when applied to South Asia. This panel seeks to re-assess the transformation of the Indian political landscape beyond the First World War, by exploring a new periodization; one that reflects global as well as local developments, and takes into account both long- and short-term factors. In other words, we wish to reimagine the period of 1912-22 in Sahlinian terms, as the site of a 'structure of the conjuncture'.