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Weekly Reflection

In the reading, politics stood out as the main theme during the period. In itself, politics is a multifaceted and complicated aspect of life that touches everyone directly or indirectly. Throughout the study period, the political events in India have taken center stage and pitted communities and states against each other as each faction attempted to gain control of India and its resources. The two main parties in Indian politics, the British and the Indians had trouble with power sharing. While the British wanted to repress the liberation efforts and continue ruling over India, it was evident that the natives had a greater vision of freedom and independence. The country was also rocked with civil strife presented by the conflict between the Muslims and Indians. However, the tactful way in which the British handed over power to the Indians made it possible for them to maintain control over the state while satisfying the demands of the locals. In the end, Jawaharlal Nehru assumed office as the first Prime Minister of India (Stein 356). To the Indian, this marked an important moment in their politics and lives as they had finally realized their vision of self-rule.

After politics, the society emerged as the second most important aspect of life in India. During the time when India was colonized by the British, the class structures in place stood to benefit the few British governors and Indians that managed to get themselves into influential positions in the colonial government. Among the Indians themselves, the caste system was seen as the preferred way of life. The introduction of the Muslims living within the same country served to complicate the state of societal affairs. The relationship between Indians, Muslims and the British was largely competitive. All the cultures within the country however worked together at some point or another especially in political circles. After independence, cultural and ethnic differences were united among these three groups (Stein 348).

The political events that took place in India at the time shaped the social relations and economic status of the citizens both positively and negatively. The political tension that existed in India during the time before the country was granted independence made it very difficult for any economic or social activity to take place. The British held control over the largest amount of resources and therefore, it became very difficult for the Muslim and Indians to conduct their business activities. With the handing over process imminent, the Indian natives started becoming more interested in local politics (Stein 314). Both Muslims and Indians clamored for posts within the new government that would be formed purely by local citizens. Therefore, within the same turbulent environment, there were opposing interests within the political realm. The political changes would also affect differently on the state of living conditions for the natives. For the first time in India, the locals were in a position to determine how their resources were allocated and utilized.

If writing a historical novel, the best character for this period in Indian history would be a native peasant Indian. The main reason for choosing a native Indian to represent the events that took place in India is that they are in the best position to describe the social, political and economic transformations in their own country. Being the country in question is Indian, it is proper to use Indians to present any account of the liberation in India. The reason for choosing a peasant is that they are in the best position to describe the economic conditions that applied in India (Stein 323). Peasants were subjected to the different economic regimes that shifted with change in the political elite. When the British were in power, the peasants bore the brunt of their policies. Moreover, when the local political elite took over the reins of power, the peasants still felt the implications of the new government. Choosing any other group such as the upper class or foreigners such as the British to represent the events that unfolded during Indians’ independence would result in a distorted account.

Works Cited

Brendon, Piers. The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. Print.

Stein, Burton. “Gandhi’s Triumph ” A History of India. 2nd ed. Oxford: England: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, 1998. 308-356. Print.

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