The Subcontinent and the Raj

Introductory chronology for this special commemorative issue marking 50 years since Britain relinquished colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent.

Fifty years ago Britain relinquished the jewel in its imperial crown, the Indian subcontinent. The marking there of this anniversary of independence is carrying elements of the enigmatic perhaps inevitable in view of the price of partition and continued tension between the nations that emerged from it.  But the anniversary offers a good vantage point from which to survey not only the complex tapestry woven between the Raj and its subjects over three hundred years the high politics and drama leading up to and surrounding August 1947, but also the human impact of social and cultural interchange. In this special expanded commemorative issue (and with particular advice and encouragement from Professor Francis Robinson, to whom we are indebted) History Today has asked some of the historians of South Asian history and politics, from both East and West, to narrate this process, comment on its significance, and weigh up its continued impact today on former rulers and ruled.

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