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Indian revolutionaries abroad: Revisiting their silent moments
2014 (English)In: Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, ISSN 1532-5768, E-ISSN 1532-5768, Vol. 15, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article I relate Indian revolutionaries Virendranath Chattopadhyaya’s and Lala Har Dayal’s experiences of exile in Sweden to recent attempts to reformulate perspectives on Indian anti-colonial protest. These attempts have in various ways focused on the global dimension of Indian anti-colonialism, showing how displaced Indian intellectuals and activists connected outside the Subcontinent, to labour for the freedom of India. While appreciating the need for a fresh approach to studies of anti-colonial movements, this article issues a note of caution. Several recent studies treat life in exile as one of connectivity and creativity. In fact, connectivity becomes so important for these studies that it is only when in conversation with others sharing their objective that the views of Indian activists are included. Yet, many exiles lived long periods nearly or actually disconnected from the movement of which they wished to form a part. Such moments of silence are wishfully glossed over in the emerging literature. By way of revisiting Har Dayal and Chattopadhyaya in Sweden, I suggest that periods of silence or disconnection are important, simply because they existed, and formed a decisive part of the reality of exile. By omitting them, one risks romanticising exile, and subjecting experiences of displacement to academic programmatic concerns, however noble the cause.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. Vol. 15, no 3
Keyword [en]
Colonial history
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219530OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-219530DiVA: diva2:700946
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-03-04 Created: 2014-03-03 Last updated: 2016-07-20Bibliographically approved

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