REBELS AGAINST THE RAJ: Western Fighters for India's Freedom

Book number: 93950 Product format: Hardback Author: RAMACHANDRA GUHA

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Bibliophile price £7.00
Published price £25

In 1893, even as Gandhi, Ranji and Vivekananda were seeking to take their ideas and expertise out of India, a Western woman was making the reverse journey, bringing her ideas to India. Mrs Annie Besant and The Theosophical Society became major players in both Indian and International arenas. Benjamin Guy Horniman was a great journalist who believed that Indians should be given the same rights of liberty and freedom that Englishmen enjoyed. Freedom-loving American Samuel Evans Stokes and Madeline Slade who left England for India and became the adopted daughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Philip Spratt and his contributions in the Indian struggle for freedom are some of the seven people chosen to tell their little-known stories. Foreigners to India date from the late 19th century onwards arrived to join the freedom movement fighting for independence. Their lives thus span a century of tumultuous history incorporating two world wars, Independence and Partition, and the emergence of a state and society. Of the seven four were British, two American and one Irish, four men and three women. Before and after being jailed or deported they did remarkable and pioneering work from journalism and social reform to education, organic agriculture and environmentalism. The writer William Dalrymple called them the 'White Mughals' who slowly shed their Britishness and adopted Indian dress, studied Indian philosophy at a time when racial boundaries were more fluid. These renegades came to the sub-continent from diverse social and intellectual backgrounds. They all combined writing with activism, two of them working up north in the high and cold Himalaya, two in the deepest south, close to the hot and humid coast, and two were inspired to settle in villages, marrying Indians and raising children with them. One man stayed unmarried and was almost certainly gay, taking Indian lovers. 476pp, eight pages of photos.

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ISBN 9780008498764

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