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Peasants in India's Non-Violent Revolution: Practice and Theory

Mridula Mukherjee (Author)
Synopsis This extremely important book is a major intervention in theoretical debates regarding the role of peasants in revolutionary transformations in the modern world. It does so from the vantage point of the Indian anti-colonial national revolution--a revolution based on a strategy of non-violent action in which the central role was assigned to the peasants. The book also questions certain elements of the Marxist understanding of the peasantry, while appreciating many of its profound insights. Similarly, the work of scholars like Eric Hobsbawm, Eric Wolf, Lucien Bianco, Jean Chesneaux, James Scott, Theda Skocpol, Theodor Shanin and Barrington Moore, who have made important contributions to peasant historiography, is critically analyzed. The author argues that the actual political practice of the Indian peasants refuses to fit into the theoretical straitjackets provided for it, and that it demands new theoretical and methodological space, some of which this study has sought to create. Among the themes discussed are peasants and anti-colonial nationalism, forms of protest, methods of mobilization, and peasant consciousness. The book is divided into two parts. Part one focuses closely on a major Indian province, Punjab, and narrates in detail the actual political practice of the peasants in the era of the freedom struggle. (A forthcoming companion volume, titled Colonializing Agriculture: the myth of Punjab exceptionalism, looks at the agrarian economy of Punjab under colonialism). Part two addresses issues of theory, and includes the peasants of other regions of Indian and parts of the world. This fascinating narrative is based on hitherto unused sources and records including newspapers, pamphlets, posters and private papers. Combining the archival skills of the historian with the field-work based methodology of the sociologist, this book will be of substantial interest to students and scholars of history, sociology and political science, particularly to those specializing in social movements, national liberation movements, peasant studies and in Punjab.
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Bibliographic information

Title Peasants in India's Non-Violent Revolution: Practice and Theory
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8178291500
length 579p.