SUBJECT INDIA by Henry Noel Barilsford

SUBJECT INDIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Unique in that here is a book about India written by an Englishman and objectively critical of England's policy -- past and present -- in India. He feels, unquestionably, that the British have muffed it, that they have allowed religious differences to become exaggerated as barriers to settlement, and have played favorites in the wrong camp, the Princes. He appraises the history of misrule in India; he shows how inadequate reforms have been; he is unsympathetic with Gandhi's program and psychology and philosophy but is realistic about the importance of recognizing his power; he shows wherein the Cripps' mission was foredoomed to failure -- and where the British lost an earlier chance to gain India's allegiance for the duration. He outlines the main point of basic agreement, -- functions of Congress over agriculture, finance, customs, communications, defence, foreign affairs -- no one of which depends on solving religious differences or even social customs. He examines the claims of Hindus and Muslims, feels that Pakistan is unworkable and that Jinnah has a compromise, given a chance. He lines up the pros and cons of an All India Federation, and warns that India may accept the chance to break with Great Britain and join an Asiatic League. He studies the reasons for India's abysmal poverty and feels that British rule has not touched the causes Not a book that solves anything, but it does help clear the air.

Publisher: John Day