War over words (2019)
censorship in India, 1930-1960
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.