24 November, 2020

By Way Of Alam El Halfa

With his new book, Srinath Raghavan confirms his stature as a top historian

Photograph by Jitender Gupta
By Way Of Alam El Halfa

“This is not just about what India did for the war. I also look at what the war did to India. The South Asia of today is in very many ways the product of India’s Second World War.”

—Thus a succinct Srinath Raghavan in his new book, India’s War: The Making of Modern South Asia, 1939-1945.


At just 39, the unassuming and charismatic Raghavan, a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi, is now considered to be a leading military historian and writer on strategic studies. His book is an exh­austive account of the Second World War told from a uniquely Indian perspective. Raghavan looks at vital questions, like the Raj having a sub-imperial system of its own that stood ready to defend its own empire, the internatio­nal dimensions of India’s war (Indians fought in the China-Burma-India theatre, West Asia, north and east Africa and Italy), how imperial war aims influenced these crucially formative years of...



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