Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

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Indian Studies Lecture. Complete Political Independence: The Curious Genealogy of a Nationalist Indian Demand

Event Type
India Studies Fund
Levis Faculty Center, 919 W Illinois St, Urbana, IL 61801
Feb 21, 2024   4:00 pm  
Dr. Mrinalini Sinha, Professor of History at the University of Michigan
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Originating Calendar
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The Indian National Congress, the mainstream old anti-colonial political institution in British India, passed a resolution in 1929 in which it officially demanded complete political independence for India from the British Empire. The question of political independence – against other modes of exit from the existing colonial situation – had been in the air for at least a few decades before the Congress signed on to it. Although immortalized immediately afterward in the famous Gandhi-led Salt Satyagraha against the British in 1930, the historical conditions that had necessitated the resolution in the first place have remained obscure. This talk will attempt to defamiliarize the history of this political demand. It does so by locating the question of the future of India alongside the future of Indians in the British empire. It aims to intervene in both a long-standing scholarship that had naturalized the transition from empires to nations and in the recent academic fascination with political forms that offered an alternative to or bypassed the nation-state.

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