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Modern India, 1757-1947: Political and Social History - 20 credits (HST661)

India experienced major transformations during the period of colonial rule in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The sub continent came to be expressed in perceptions that ranged from ‘fatalistic’ Indians and ‘unchanging India’, to the existence of Hindus and Muslims as ‘separate communities’. The trajectories of these stereotypes lie embedded in the historical processes that went into the formation of modern India. This course provides the student with an opportunity to critically examine such stereotypes through an in-depth study of the developments in Indian religions, society and politics of the modern period of its history. These include the following topics and themes: the birth of the British empire in eighteenth century India; structures of governance established by the Company Raj; the relationship between the Company state and its subjects studied through the legal systems, property rights and civil service; ideologies of the Raj and their relation to the British system of governance; the place of religion and the caste-system in public life and its extension to electoral politics; the rise of communalism and religious identities; the public life of educated Indians expressed through the growth of voluntary public institutions and associations; and finally the growth of nationalism and debates on ‘derivative’ and ‘indigenous’ nationalisms.