Title From Raj to Republic: Sovereignty, Violence, and Democracy in India
Subtitle (South Asia In Motion)
Author Sunil Purushotham
ISBN 9781503614543
List price USD 28.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 360
Book size 153 x 229 mm
Publishing year 2021
Original publisher Stanford University Press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“A brilliantly original account of India’s Partition. Refusing to confine Partition to the remaking of borders and religious identities, Purushotham places its violence alongside other conflicts to argue that independent India fashioned its sovereignty by their forcible assimilation into a nation that no longer owed its authority to the colonial state.”

—Faisal Devji, University of Oxford

“Purushotham vividly reconstructs the anguish and violence that preoccupied the early democratic republic as it emerged from under the debris of British imperial rule. This is a provocative and compelling new study of the chaotic history surrounding the reorganization of regional power and statehood in post-Partition India.”

—Sudipta Sen, University of California, Davis


Between 1946 and 1952, the British Raj, the world’s largest colony, was transformed into the Republic of India, the world’s largest democracy. Independence, the Constituent Assembly Debates, the founding of the Republic, and India’s first universal franchise general election occurred amidst the violence and displacement of the Partition, the uncertain and contested integration of the princely states, and the forceful quelling of internal dissent. This book investigates the ways in which these violent conjunctures constituted a postcolonial regime of sovereignty and shaped the historical development of democracy in India at the foundational moment of decolonization and national independence. From Raj to Republic presents a multifaceted history of sovereignty and democracy in India by linking together the princely state of Hyderabad’s attempt to establish itself as an independent sovereign state, the partitioning of Punjab, and the communist-led revolutionary movement in Telangana. A national, territorial, republican, and liberal polity in India emerged out of a violent and contested process that forged new power relations and opened up historical trajectories with lasting consequences for modern India.


Introduction: Sovereignty, Violence, and Democracy, 1946-52

Chapter 1. Azad Hyderabad in the Age of Empire and Nationalism

Chapter 2. The Battle for Hyderabad

Chapter 3. Foundational Violence: State and Society in Partitioned Punjab

Chapter 4. Nation and Narration: Testimony, Citizenship, and Sovereignty

Chapter 5. An Indian Yan’an: Telangana, 1946-52

Chapter 6. The Camp and the Citizen

Epilogue: From Raj to Republic, 1946-52

Abbreviations Used in Notes






About the Author:

Sunil Purushotham is Associate Professor of History at Fairfield University.

Target Audience:

People interested in the history of India.


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