War over Words: Censorship in India, 1930-1960

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Cambridge University Press, May 23, 2019 - History - 325 pages
Censorship has been a universal phenomenon through history. However, its rationale and implementation has varied, and public reaction to it has differed across societies and times. This book recovers, narrates, and interrogates the history of censorship of publications in India over three crucial decades - encompassing the Gandhian anti-colonial movement, the Second World War, Partition, and the early years of Independent India. In doing so, it examines state policy and practice, and also its subversion, in a tumultuous period of transition from colonial to self-rule in India. Populated with an array of powerful and powerless individuals, the story of Indians grappling with free speech and (in)tolerance is a fascinating one, and deserves to be widely known. It will help readers make sense of global present-day debates over free speech and hate speech, illustrate historical trends that change - and those that don't - and help them appreciate how the past inevitably informs the present.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Part I
21
Part II
59
Indian Muslims
91
Part III
123
Freedom and Free Speech
173
Constitution
200
The Living Biographies of Religious Leaders Controversy 1956
233
Conclusion
246
Epilogue
262
Name Index
281
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

Devika Sethi teaches Modern Indian History at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi. Her research areas are free speech and censorship in a context of colonialism and decolonization.

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