South Asian History
Twentieth Century South Asia
History has been the unfortunate ground on which many of South Asia’s fiercest political battles have played, and continue to play themselves out. This course considers a few of the key debates that have animated twentieth century South Asia. These include debates on the nature of anti-colonial nationalism; the shape of a free India; the founding principles of the states of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; the independence of Bangladesh; and the legacy of colonialism on democracy, development and militancy in these South Asian countries. We will also consider how recourse to certain interpretations of ‘history’ has influenced the crafting of policy and politics. Structured chronologically, the course begins with a study of colonialism in early twentieth century India and ends by considering the challenges of deepening democratization, and unequal development.
There is no standard textbook for the course. Chapters from books and journal articles will be made available at collab or placed on reserve. Films will also be used.
Course requirements include active participation in class (15%); a book/film review (20%); a midterm exam (25%); and a final exam (40%).
Neelesh Misra, The Absent State
Mohammad Hanif, A Case of Exploding Mangoes