Revolutionary Lives in South Asia: Acts and Afterlives of Anticolonial Political Action

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Kama Maclean, J. David Elam
Routledge, 05‏/02‏/2016 - 136 من الصفحات
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The term ‘revolutionary’ is used liberally in histories of Indian anticolonialism, but scarcely defined. Implicitly understood, it functions as a signpost or a badge, generously conferred in hagiographies, loosely invoked in historiography, and strategically deployed in contemporary political contests. It is timely, then, to ask the question: Who counts as a ‘revolutionary’ in South Asia? How can we read ‘the revolutionary’ in Indian political formations? And what does it really mean to be ‘revolutionary’ in turbulent late colonial times? This volume takes a biographical approach to the question, by examining the life stories of a series of activists, some well known, who all defined themselves in explicitly revolutionary terms in the early twentieth century: Shyamaji Krishnavarma, V. D. Savarkar, M. K. Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru, J.P. Narayan and Hansraj Vohra. The authors interrogate the subversive lives of these figures, tracing their polyglot influences and transnational impacts, to map out the discursive travels of ‘the revolutionary’ in Indian historical and literary worlds from the early 1900s, and to indicate its reverberations in the politics of the present.

This book was published as a special issue of Postcolonial Studies.


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Texts Acts and Afterlives of Political Action in Late Colonial South Asia Who is a revolutionary?
the case of V D Savarkar
violence love and the worldliness of revolutionary texts
the early radicalization of Jayaprakash Narayan
The impossible intimacies of M N Roy
Experiments in political truth
Death in three scenes of recitation
revolutionism and betrayal in colonia lIndia
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Kama Maclean is Associate Professor of South Asian and World History at the University of New South Wales and editor of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. She is the author of A Revolutionary History of Interwar India: Violence, Image, Voice and Text (London: Hurst & Co., 2014).

J. Daniel Elam is a PhD Candidate in the Rhetoric and Public Culture Program at Northwestern University. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Interventions, and American Quarterly.

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