This book examines the working of the government introduced in Bihar under the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms and the nature and dynamics of nationalist and communal politics during this period. It begins with exploring the political initiatives undertaken by the nationalist forces for representative government, and goes on to offer a reappraisal of the Congress politics of mass mobilization in the struggle against the colonial rule. The book also analyzes the Swarajists’ experiment of continuing resistance by entering the Council. The Congress strategies of spreading the nationalist message deep into the remote areas of Bihar, the emergence of the Kisan Sabha as the champion of peasants’ cause and the rise of socialist trends in Bihar Congress are examined in detail. The polarization of provincial politics on communal lines became much more pronounced with the implementation of the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms. Political actions of the Hindus and the Muslims began to be determined by community-oriented consciousness. In this work, Dr. Jawaid Alam discusses at some length, the growth of separatist and communal trends, and the strategies of identity building and religious mobilization causing the breakdown of longstanding Hindu-Muslim camaraderie leading to outbreaks of communal violence. Based on a wide range of original sources and painstaking research, the study is an attempt to understand the British package of concessions given to the Indians in Bihar which had become more crucial in the national political arena since the Champaran Satyagraha, and the main trends in the evolution and consolidation of political formations there. Meticulously researched and carefully argued, this book will be of great interest to all those studying or involved in Modem Indian history and politics.
Dr. Jawaid Alam (b. 1964) worked in the Towards Freedom Project of the ICHR as Research Associate and in the Department of Culture, Government of India as Research Officer for publishing Selected Works of Govind Ballabh Pant in a series of volumes. He is currently working on Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru at the JNMF, Teen Murti House, New Delhi. He has contributed research articles to various journals and edited books
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