Ghosh, Durba : Small Grant, 2015-2016

Recipients: 

Durba Ghosh (History)

College: 
Arts & Sciences
Department: 
History
Project Title: 
Postcolonial Commemorations: How Revolutionaries became Freedom Fighters in Independent India
Project Abstract: 
This project is on postcolonial commemorations of a radical political movement described as “militant nationalism” or “revolutionary terrorism” in Bengal. Called bhadralog dacoits by Indians, and “gentlemanly terrorists” by the British, those who had been identified as threats to the security of the colonial state became heroes of the postcolonial state. The project focuses on the ways that political activists who espoused political violence were able to remake themselves from terrorists into freedom fighters, a process that took several decades of civic organization. By examining how the history of Bengal’s revolutionary terrorist movement was produced by revolutionaries and radicals after 1947 (when India became independent from the British), the project analyzes how public commemorations formed a central part of forming new civic communities in the newly founded postcolonial state.