A People’s History of India 30
The National Movement
Origins and Early Phase, to 1918
The volume you hold in your hand deals with the ways in which resistance to British rule developed, closing with the Revolt of 1857. It then passes on to the factors that led to the rise of national consciousness in India. This is followed by an account of the development of the National Movement from 1885, when the Congress was founded, till 1918, on the eve of Gandhi’s emergence as its undisputed leader. While giving a narrative of events, dissensions and shifting British policies, the volume seeks to understand how the National Movement, beginning as a middle-class initiative, went on to acquire a mass character with early stirrings of workers’ and peasants’ struggles.
The book has notes on themes like the concept of nation and the middle class, as well as the historiography of the national movement and the shaping of Gandhi’s early ideas. It has extensive extracts
from important documents that would not otherwise be readily available to readers.
Irfan Habib is Professor Emeritus of History at the Aligarh Muslim University. He is the author of The Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556–1707 (1963, revised edition 1999), An Atlas of the Mughal Empire (1982), Essays in Indian History: Towards a Marxist Perception (1995), Medieval India: The Study of a Civilization (2007), Economic History of Medieval India, 1200–1500 (with collaborators, 2011) and Atlas of Ancient Indian History (with Faiz Habib, 2012). He has co-edited The Cambridge Economic History of India, Vol. I, UNESCO’s History of Humanity, Vols. 4 and 5, and UNESCO’s History of Central Asia, Vol. 5. He is the General Editor of the People’s History of India series. He has published two monographs on modern Indian economic history and a study of certain aspects of the National Movement.