The Mutiny at the Margins series takes a fresh look at the revolt of 1857 from original and unusual perspectives, focusing in particular on neglected socially marginal groups and geographic areas which have hitherto tended to be unrepresented in studies of this cataclysmic event in British imperial and Indian historiography.
Chapter 7: The President of India's Radio Broadcast, 14 August 1957
The President of India's Radio Broadcast, 14 August 1957
IN 1957, India celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Great Indian Uprising. Barely a decade after the horrific violence of the Partition of India, leading politicians were keen to reflect upon history in a manner that might help to heal the wounds of communalism and unite the nation. Celebrating 1857 as a unique example of Muslim and Hindu acting in unity against a common foe became, therefore, a familiar trope in the speeches of post-Independence politicians memorialising 1857: an interpretation which could exclude as many as it included. Whilst echoing this sentiment, President Rajendra Prasad in this speech to the nation attempted a more sophisticated long term ...