Professor Ramachandra Guha: The South Asian Public Policy Lecture

Professor Guha will deliver a talk entitled, ‘Beyond racial binaries: Western fighters for India’s freedom

The lecture will take place in the Alison Richard Building, Room SG1, at 5pm on Wednesday 8 June. A drinks reception will follow the lecture.

Those wishing to attend online can register here

Abstract: The history of Indian nationalism is an active and vigorously contested field. There have been intense debates on the role of the Congress Party and its Gandhian philosophy of non-violence; on the contributions of revolutionaries inspired by Marxism and by religion; on autonomous movements of workers, peasants and tribals against the colonial state. What these contrasting perspectives share in common, however, is that they see this history in terms of an implacable opposition between the exploitative British and the  Indians who resisted them. This talk will go beyond these racial binaries to highlight the fascinating but sadly forgotten story of a group of white renegades, who betrayed their race, religion and nation to identify fully and completely with the Indian freedom struggle.

Author bio: Ramachandra Guha’s books include a pioneering social history of sport, a landmark history of independent India, and an authoritative two-volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi, both volumes of which were chosen by the New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year. His awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the Sahitya Akademi Award, and the Fukuoka Prize for contributions to Asian culture. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in the humanities from Yale University. He lives in Bengaluru.