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Lead book review

The making of modern India

Srinath Raghavan shows how fighting with the Allies in the second world war would profoundly affect India’s future, for better or worse

26 March 2016

9:00 AM

26 March 2016

9:00 AM

India’s War: The Making of Modern South Asia, 1939–1945 Srinath Raghavan

Allen Lane, pp.608, £30, ISBN: 9781846145414

The other day, some anti-imperialist students were questioning the presence in their institutions of statues of Cecil Rhodes, a West African cockerel and, very strangely in view of her conspicuously anti-racist convictions, Queen Victoria. In response, a Guardian columnist, who has probably made less effort to learn Hindi than Queen Victoria did, amusingly said that it was time to ‘start a debate’ about the British empire.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £25.00. Tel: 08430 600033. Philip Hensher’s novels include The Mulberry Empire, about Afghanistan in the 1830s.

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