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India's Revolutionary Inheritance


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Table of Contents

Introduction: the work of the dead; Part I: 1. Lahore and the possibility of politics; 2. What is to be done?; 3. Infinite Inquilab; Part II: Prologue; 4. Bhagat Singh's corpse; 5. In league with the dead; 6. Life and death in monuments; Conclusion: a politics of inheritance.

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Interrogates the explosive potential of revolutionary anti-colonial 'afterlives' in contemporary Indian politics and society.

About the Author

Chris Moffat is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of History, Queen Mary University of London.


'In this tightly argued investigation of the figure of the revolutionary nationalist Bhagat Singh, Moffat explores the relationship between history as documentary facts, and history as political mythology. A timely intervention at a juncture where Indian history is more contested than ever before.' Thomas Blom Hansen, Stanford University, California
'A highly original study of India's revolutionary history, Chris Moffat's book is unique in exploring the surprising afterlife of this past. More than nostalgia for a losing argument in Indian politics, Moffat argues that the revolutionary past has come to possess a spectral agency. This is a nuanced and sophisticated study of historical consciousness in modern India.' Faisal Devji, University of Oxford
'In this imaginative reckoning with the spectacular and spectral afterlives of Bhagat Singh, Chris Moffat offers a brilliant account of history as hauntology. Based on sustained archival research and wide-ranging field work, India's Revolutionary Inheritance compels us to understand why and how some dead continue to have such a purchase in the world of the living. A historical and conceptual tour de force.' Sumathi Ramaswamy, Duke University, North Carolina
'This impressive book offers not only a deeply insightful account of Bhagat Singh's afterlives, but also a very timely and critical reflection on disciplinary history's rigid boundaries between past and present. Moffat makes an exceptionally important argument about how politics is often more about gesture and action than doctrine and belief.' Ajay Skaria, University of Minnesota
'Chris Moffat's Book India's Revolutionary Inheritance is a welcome addition to the list of works that seek to overcome the tropes of failure and defeat ... Moffat's book is then not only a challenge to intellectual orthodoxiesn in History, but is also a political intervention in our possible futures.' Ammar Ali Jan, Radical Philosophy
'Moffat's work ... with its blend of field and archive, provides an excellent example for how scholars might go about studying the tangled temporal orders of contemporary South Asian politics, one in which the divine, the dead and the living all play a part.' Rahul Rose, South Asia@LSE
'This book is the result of [Moffat's] rigorously academic, scholarly and yet social change-oriented research.' Chaman Lal, Countercurrents.org

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