About the Book
This volume marks the sesquicentennial of the events of 1857, in which multi-pronged, widespread and in many instances, organised resistance broke out against the British across north India. The contributions in this volume look at several aspects of 1857, and assess its events not merely in terms of their immediacy, but in the repercussions that they had politically, socially, and militarily, The essays look at how historiography has accorded its own interpretation to 1857 and its effects, an interpretation that is changing even today.
The collection has been grouped into five sections, each of which explores diverse aspects of 1857. The first section looks at historical perspectives and is titled “Then and Now”; the second, “Sepoys and Soldiers” looks at the military aspects; the third, “The Margins” is from the point of view of Dalits; the fourth, “Fictional Representations” studies how 1857 has been depicted in literature; and the fifth, “The Arts and 1857” looks at 1857 as it has inspired films, music, and fine art.
Held together with a preface by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, the essays in this volume-that range in theme and subject from historiography and military engagements, to the dalit viranganas idealised in traditional songs and the “unconventional protagonists” in mutiny novels-converge on one common goal: to enrich the existing national debates on the 1857 Uprising.
ALL the essays in this volume, save one, were first published in the Economic and Political Weekly of May 12, 2007 in a special issue titled ‘1857’.
Sekhar Bandyopadhyay’s introductory essay was specially written for this volume.
EPW is grateful to all the authors for their contributions and for permission to include the essays in this volume.
EPW is indebted to Dipesh Chakrabarty, Indivar Kamtekar and Biswamoy Pati for their suggestions, advice and guidance in organising the essays. Without their help, this collection would not have been possible.
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