1857 Essays From Economic and Political Weekly

1857 Essays From Economic and Political Weekly

Item Code: NAH279
Publisher: Orient Blackswan Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 9780001064850
Pages: 372
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 410 gm

About the Book

This volume marks the sesquicentennial of the events of 1857, in which multi-pronged, widespread and in many instances, organised resistance broke out against the British across north India. The contributions in this volume look at several aspects of 1857, and assess its events not merely in terms of their immediacy, but in the repercussions that they had politically, socially, and militarily, The essays look at how historiography has accorded its own interpretation to 1857 and its effects, an interpretation that is changing even today.

The collection has been grouped into five sections, each of which explores diverse aspects of 1857. The first section looks at historical perspectives and is titled “Then and Now”; the second, “Sepoys and Soldiers” looks at the military aspects; the third, “The Margins” is from the point of view of Dalits; the fourth, “Fictional Representations” studies how 1857 has been depicted in literature; and the fifth, “The Arts and 1857” looks at 1857 as it has inspired films, music, and fine art.

Held together with a preface by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, the essays in this volume-that range in theme and subject from historiography and military engagements, to the dalit viranganas idealised in traditional songs and the “unconventional protagonists” in mutiny novels-converge on one common goal: to enrich the existing national debates on the 1857 Uprising.


ALL the essays in this volume, save one, were first published in the Economic and Political Weekly of May 12, 2007 in a special issue titled ‘1857’.

Sekhar Bandyopadhyay’s introductory essay was specially written for this volume.

EPW is grateful to all the authors for their contributions and for permission to include the essays in this volume.

EPW is indebted to Dipesh Chakrabarty, Indivar Kamtekar and Biswamoy Pati for their suggestions, advice and guidance in organising the essays. Without their help, this collection would not have been possible.



  Preface v
l. Eighteen-Fifty-Seven and Its Many Histories 1
2 Historians and Historiography: Situating 1857 25
3 Remembering 1857: An Introductory Note 45
4 On the Rebellion of 1857: A Brief History of an Idea 59
5 Multiple Meanings of 1857 for Indians in Britain 81
6 New Lamps for Old: Colonial Experiments with Vernacular Education, Pre- and Post-1857 103
7 History as Revenge and Retaliation: Rereading Savarkar’s The War of Independence of 1857 123
8 The Beginning of ‘People’s War’ in India 135
9 The Rebel Army in 1857: At the Vanguard of the War of Independence or a Tyranny of Arms? 161
10 Reactivating the Past: Dalits and Memories of 1857 177
11 Dalit ‘Viranganas’ and Reinvention of 1857 193
12 In Search of Alternative Histories of 1857: Witch-hunts, Adivasis, and the Uprising in Chhotanagpur 213
13 The Mutiny Novel: Creating the Domestic Body of the Empire 229
14 Inscribing the Rani ofJhansi in Colonial ‘Mutiny’ Fiction 253
  THE ARTS AND 1857  
15 1857 and Ideas about Nationhood in Bengal: Nuances and Themes 279
16 Mangal Pandey: Film and History 303
17 1857: Visibilising the ‘Other’ in History - Courtesans and the Revolt 329
18 Music and Society in North India: From the Mughals to the Mutiny 339


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