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from the British Library, London

Part 8: Punjab 1896-1924; Sind 1936-1939; Burma 1938-1942; Bihar and Orissa 1920

These reports provide scholars with an invaluable insight into Indian social and political events, urban and rural conditions, criticisms of the British government, popular protest and the development of nationalist feelings. There is considerable focus on the growing mass appeal of Gandhi’s non-violent boycotts.

Key topics featured from this period are:

• Gandhi’s growing political influence and the launch of non-co-operation.
• urban and rural unrest.
• the growth of the first suburbs.
• the All-India Muslim League.
• the impact of the First and Second World Wars upon India.
• trade, agriculture and living standards.

Punjabis had played a prominent role in the 1857 Mutiny. Cities such as Jhelum and Ludhiana were focal points for anti-British sentiment. Newspapers in this region were vociferous in their campaign to promote independence for the Punjab.

Sind became a separate province in 1935 and was home to the prominent Muslim leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The reports for this region focus on the years immediately after this change.

Burma became a separately administered territory in 1937, independent of the Indian administration. These developments were followed by the nationalist press in India with great interest.

Bihar and Orissa both became separate provinces in 1936. Bihar had played a decisive role in the freedom struggle since 1912 when it was separated from Bengal as the Province of Bihar and Orissa. This was the culmination of a strong local campaign by the Oriya-speaking peoples. Regional newspapers supported Gandhi and the Non-Cooperative Movement. They also highlighted educational, social and economic grievances.

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