Subalterns and Raj presents a unique introductory history of India with an account that begins before the period of British rule, and pursues the continuities within that history up to the present day. Its coverage ranges from Mughal India to post-independence Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, with a focus on the `ordinary' people of India and South Asia.
Subalterns and Raj examines overlooked issues in Indian social history and highlights controversies between historians. Taking an iconoclastic approach to the elites of South Asia since independence, it is critical of the colonial regime that went before them.
This book is a stimulating and controversial read and, with a detailed guide to further reading and end-of-chapter bibliographies, it is an excellent guide for all students of the Indian subcontinent.
Crispin Bates is Reader in Modern South Asian History at the University of Edinburgh. His publications include, with S. Basu, Community, Empire and Migration: South Asians in Diaspora (2001), Rethinking Indian Political Institutions (2005), and Beyond Representation: Constructions of Identity in Colonial and Post-Colonial India (2006).