This volume analyses the essential features of communalism and the reasons for its growth in modern India. The author seeks to understand and interpret, and expose, communalism for what it is. He further seeks to determine its roots and social functions during the phase of its birth and growth in the colonial period and why it resulted in the partition of the country. In this process, against the backdrop of the freedom movement, the volume brings to light those aspects of India’s social, economic, political and cultural life which were responsible for the growth of communalism. Based on wide-ranging scholarship, the study also examines the role of British imperial policy in fostering communalism, which ultimately attained un-controllable, monstrous proportions.
Bipan Chandra, born and brought up in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, studied at Forman Christian College, Lahore, and Stanford University, USA. He retired as Professor of Modern Indian History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and is now Professor Emeritus there. He has been UGC National Lecturer, President of the Indian History Congress and is at present National Research Professor.