Leadership and Politics in 20th century South Asia

Home/ Leadership and Politics in 20th century South Asia
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSLS2HS3018

Semester and Year Offered: Winter 2017

Course Coordinator and Team: Salil Misra

Email of course coordinator:salil[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: Student should have been promoted to second year and passed at least three core courses

Aim:. This is a non-taught seminar course to be taken up in the fourth semester. It requires the student to write one research paper of roughly around 5000-7000 words and based substantially on primary data. The course will address certain key questions related to the emergence of modern politics in 20th century India.

Course Outcomes:

  1. The purpose of this research paper is to enable the student
  2. To test his/her own capacity and aptitude for pursuing independent research.
  3. To undertake a detailed investigation of any particular theme that may have interested them during the first three semesters.
  4. To prepare a long written text and learn to sustain and develop an argument coherently.
  5. To help students take the first big step towards becoming a researcher.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

The writing of research paper on this theme has been greatly facilitated by the publication of speeches, writings and other private papers of many important leaders (Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Motilal Nehru, Narendra Deva, Govind Ballabh Pant, Lajpat Rai, Jayaprakash Narain, B.R Ambedkar, Maulana Azad and many others), organizational records (Congress, Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha, Communist Party of India, among others) and many political documents in general (Transfer of Power Volumes, 1942-47, Towards Freedom, 1937-47, Indian Annual Register, 1918-47, published documents on Punjab Politics and UP politics) can easily facilitate the unearthing of the functioning of organizations, multiple factions within, competition and collaboration, and alliances and negotiations, involving important individuals, groups and organizations.

This seminar course can be done largely (thought not entirely) on the basis of published primary data available at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and other libraries in Delhi. Following issues and themes will be explored by the researchers:

  • Processes of negotiations and dialogues both within and between organizations
  • Strategies and tactics employed by the leaders during the courses of specific struggles
  • The ideas and intellectual engagements of political leaders on important social and political questions of the day
  • Conflicts and reconciliations between leaders (Gandhi-Jinnah, Nehru-Patel, Gandhi-Subhash Bose, Nehru-Jinnah, Communists and Socialists, Right and Left, Constitutionalists and non-Constitutionalists)

All these are broad themes and not topics. The students can choose a topic from within this large matrix. More such themes can be added. Students can also form research groups and take up broadly related topics within the same theme (e.g., three students can work on Congress-Muslim League negotiations in the 1920s, 1930s and in 1940s). But the research paper will be written and submitted individually.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Evaluation by Seminar coordinator on research and written paper: 75%
  • Evaluation of presentation by Faculty: 25%