How do we account for the creation of the Indian nation in 1947? Could this be attributed simply to the activities of the Indian National Congress? Presenting a comprehensive account of the region–from prehistory to the twentieth century–Bagelkhand or the Tigers' Lair examines the different ways in which the little known region in central India first became a part of the Indian nation (1947) and subsequently the state of Madhya Pradesh (1956).
D.E.U. Baker argues that nation- building has to be seen as a process, non-determinist except towards the end, extending beyond the activities of the Indian National Congress. It encompasses a dialogue between the region and the external–often centralizing states on the one hand, and migrations on the other.
While these two forces gave the region its distinct identity, they also paradoxically forged political, social, and economic commonalities with wide regions of the country subject to similar influences. It was on the foundations of these myriad connections that the Congress was able to mobilize the political nation.
Examining a wide range of primary and secondary sources across disciplines, this book makes an original contribution to study a of
the relationship between region and nation in history.
It will interest
scholars and students of Indian
history, sociology, and anthropology
particularly those concerned with regional history, nation-building, nationalism, and Central India.
D.E.U. Baker has taught history at St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi (1969–97). He is presently a Tutor at the college assembling the college archives and writing a history of the institution. His extensive list of publications over the last forty years includes Changing Leadership in an Indian Province: The Central Provinces and Berar, 1919-1939 (OUP, 1978) and Colonialism in an Indian Hinterland:The Central Provinces and Berar, 1820-1920 (OUP, 1993).