Nationalism In South India, Its Economic And Social Background
Research on India?s freedom movement for the last two decades has undergone a dramatic change. While one school of historians has concentrated, on economic and social conditions, and the other on nationalism as a political concept, the subtle interaction between the two factors has somehow been neglected by almost all except a very few but their studies only cover macro level India as a whole. But Dr. Naidu. Keeping in mind the relative importance of this mutual mingling between factors and the absence of micro studies, breaks new ground in this work on the former Madras Presidency, for which he was awarded Ph.D. degree by the Andhra University. The book begins with an introductory chapter, analysing the meaning of nationalism, different interpretations by eminent scholars like Hans Kohn, Eric Stockes, R.P. Dutt. K.M. Panikkar and arrives at a convincing conclusion that economic and social factors have not only got direct and casual relationship with nationalism but also vice versa. Applying this theory to South India without princely states, the author treats the conditions under two heads; one dealing with economic: like agriculture, land revenue, irrigation, famine forests, salt, railways, industry, foreign trade, and the other social: like education and journalism and the catalytic role of communities like Hindu. Muslim and Christian. The common but salient features in economic part were the arbitrary policies of the Madras Government and the consequent growth of frustration in masses while in the social part Government?s liberal policies that brought about intellectual quickening in the elite, sense of awareness in the masses on current political issues, their pursuance by the nationalistic minded leaders like G. Subramania Iyer, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, Yakub Hasan, Eardley Norton, Mrs. Annie Besant in the Congress sessions. On the whole all these not only permeated nationalism like undercurrent in the entire Sound India but made it an integral but vital part of all India. In the concluding chapter, the author once again lays emphasis on nationalism and reviews it retrospectively showing how it is a product of economic and social conditions.
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