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Developing India: An Intellectual and Social History, c. 1930-50


  • Zachariah, Benjamin

    (Reader in South Asian History, Department of History, University of Sheffield)


This book is about the ideas regarding the concept of the term 'development' which emerged in circa 1930-50. It is a study of the formative period in history when the underlying notions of progress, self-government, and nation building were articulated. The author considers how the notions were driven by immediate political battles, yet inspired by a vision of the future that incorporated notions of sovereignty and equity. Drawing on a variety of intellectual resources, the author analyses three themes around development: the importance of science and technology, the need for the government to express certain social concerns, and the need for national discipline. The argument is that alternative notions of development-consciously different from those based on free trade and industrialization could emerge in the inter-war period, when the future of capitalism did not appear as assured as they did in the nineteenth century. This book opens up a new arena in the historiography of South Asia, that of an intellectual history of late colonialism in India, and of the nationalism that succeeded it.

Suggested Citation

  • Zachariah, Benjamin, 2012. "Developing India: An Intellectual and Social History, c. 1930-50," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198086079.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780198086079

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