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Condition of India : Being the Report of the Delegation Sent to India by The India League in 1932

Monica Whately, Ellen Wilkinson, Leonard W. Matters and V.K. Krishna Menon, Konark, 1999, Reprint, xxi, 554 p, ISBN : 8122005500, $36.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Preface. Introduction. 1. The dual policy. 2. The India League delegation. 3. From truce to conflict. 4. The responsibility for the conflict. 5. The ordinances. 6. The legality of the ordinances. 7. The end of the ordinances. 8. The civil disobedience movement. 9. The Congress. 10. Other Indian organisations. 11. Suppression of the nationalist movement. 12. Police and the law. 13. Police Raj in action. 14. Political prisoners and jails. 15. The press. 16. Some law court cases. 17. The Indian villages. 18. The village under ordinance. 19. The Boycott and picketing. 20. The north-western frontier. 21. Labour in India. 22. Britain, her allies and Indian opinion. 23. Some important political issues and events. 24. A general impression. 25. The dual policy re-examined. Appendices. Index.

"This is the first Indian edition of Condition of India, an incisive report on the situation as it obtained in India under the ordinance rule in 1932 following the failure of the Round Table Conference in 1931 and the incarceration of Gandhi in early 1932. Prepared by a delegation to India sponsored by the India League, it is based on its findings during an extensive on the spot investigation all over India. The delegation consisted of Monica Whately, Ellen Wilkinson, Leonard W. Matters and V.K. Krishna Menon. The volume was published in 1934 despite a good deal of opposition from official quarters and was promptly proscribed in India.

`"In the present edition, Suhash Chakravarty has provided an exhaustive introduction giving rational contexts and historical perspectives to the report which has been described by him as an illuminating document on the nature of British rule in India in 1932 barely two decades before the end of the Raj. The report emphasized that the ordinances were directed against an unarmed and non-violent people irrespective of age or gender and led by a frail but determined leader with a unique vision. The rule gave rise to an official ordinance mind, at once arrogant, authoritarian, repressive and callous and the ascendancy of a brutal police force as the principal executive authority. The civil disobedience movement had been extended to rural India and was enriched by an extensive participation of women, peasants and working class. The Indian National Congress had become a mass movement and, at places, adopted socialist aspiration and reiterated its democratic character. The report is an essential source material for this turbulent period that left behind a heritage of ill will and racial bitterness." (jacket)

[Suhash Chakravarty's books include V.K. Krishna Menon and the India League.]

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