India’s Middle Class (2024)

  • 1. Patrick Joyce ed., Class (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995); Gareth Stedman Jones, Languages of Class: Studies in English Working Class History (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1983).

  • 2. Contrast, for instance, the background of the bhadralok (the respectable folk) in Tanika Sarkar, Hindu Wife Hindu Nation: Community, Religion, and Cultural Nationalism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), or Sumit Sarkar, Popular Movements and Middle Class Leadership in late Colonial India: Perspectives and Problems from a History from Below (Calcutta: K. P. Bagchi, 1983) with the Surat merchants of Douglas E. Haynes, Rhetoric and Ritual in Colonial India: The Shaping of a Public Culture in Surat City, 1852–1928 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991).

  • 3. Dror Wahrman, Imagining the Middle Class: The Political Representation of Class in Britain, c. 1780–1840 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

  • 4. As recent critiques of contemporary usages of the category reveal, in purely economic terms, it might make much more sense to speak of the social group we refer to as an affluent class rather than the middle class. Satish Deshpande, Contemporary India: A Sociological View (Delhi: Penguin Books India, 2003). The elitism of the people who claimed this category was even more pronounced during the colonial era.

  • 5. C. A. Bayly, Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780–1870 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

  • 6. Sanjay Joshi, Fractured Modernity: Making of a Middle Class in Colonial North India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001); Veena Naregal, Language Politics, Elites and the Public Sphere: Western India Under Colonialism (New Delhi, Permanent Black, 2001); for a slightly different take, see Tithi Bhattacharya, The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005).

  • 7. Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (London: Fontana, 1983): 63.

  • 8. See, for instance, Sanjay Joshi, Fractured Modernity, particularly chapter one; Ulrike Stark, An Empire of Books: The Naval Kishore Press and the Diffusion of the Printed Word in Colonial India, 1858–1895 (New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2007).

  • 9. Rudyard Kipling, Kim (New York: Viking, 1987); also, “Head of the District” in Life’s Handicap; Being Stories of Mine Own People (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1899). For other examples of colonial derision of the aspirations of educated Indians, see, Reginald Craddock, The Dilemma in India (London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co, 1867); John Strachey, India: Its Administration & Progress (London: Macmillan, 1903); and Valentine Chirol, Indian Unrest (London: Macmillan, 1910).

  • 10. Sudhir Chandra, The Oppressive Present: Literature and Social Consciousness in Colonial India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992); Sudipta Kaviraj, The Unhappy Consciousness: Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay and the Formation of Nationalist Discourse in India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995); among a host of others.

  • 11. Mushirul Hasan, Wit and Humour in Colonial North India (Delhi: Niyogi Books, 2007); also, Sanjay Joshi, Fractured Modernity.

  • 12. Kenneth W. Jones, Arya Dharma: Hindu Consciousness in Nineteenth Century Punjab (Delhi, Manohar Book Service, 1976).

  • 13. There is a huge amount of scholarship about the influence of Orientalism on modern ideas. For South Asia, among many others, see Carol Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer, eds., Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993); Ronald Inden, Imagining India (Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1990); Vasudha Dalmia, The Nationalization of Hindu Traditions: Bharatendu Harischandra and Nineteenth Century Banaras (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997).

  • 14. Arjun Appadurai, Worship and Conflict under Colonial Rule (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1981); Richard G. Fox, Lions of the Punjab: Culture in the Making (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990); Peter Hardy, The Muslims of British India (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1972); David Kopf, The Brahmo Samaj and the Shaping of the Modern Indian Mind (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979; David Lelyveld, Aligarh’s First Generation: Muslim Solidarity in British India (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978); Lata Mani, Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998); Barbara D. Metcalf, Islamic Revival in British India: Deoband 1860–190 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982); Gail Minault, Secluded Scholars: Women’s Education and Muslim Social Reform in Colonial India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998); Harjot S. Oberoi, Construction of Religious Boundaries: Culture, Identity and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994); Amiya P. Sen, ed. Social and Religious Reform: The Hindus of British India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995; Christian W. Troll, Sayyid Ahmad Khan: Reinterpretation of Muslim Theology (Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1978); Richard P. Tucker, Ranade and the Roots of Indian Nationalism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972); Peter van der Veer, Religious Nationalism: Hindus and Muslims in India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

  • 15. See in particular Mani, Dalmia, Fox, Oberoi, Metcalf, Minault, and Sen from the works cited above.

  • 16. Anshu Malhotra, Gender, Caste, and Religious Identities: Restructuring Class in Colonial Punjab (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002); Barbara Metcalf, Perfecting Women: Maulana Ashraf “Ali Thanawi”s Bihishti Zewar (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); Kumkum Sangari and Sudesh Vaid ed., Recasting Women: Essays in Colonial History (Delhi: Kali for Women, 1989). Minault, Secluded Scholars shows how women were left with little alternative but to participate within the limits of the roles laid out for them, but did so to challenge patriarchy.

  • 17. Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993).

  • 18. A Speech at St Andrew’s Dinner,” November 30, 1888 in Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, Speeches Delivered in India-1884–88 (London: John Murray, 1890), 229–248.

  • 19. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Revised Edition, New York: Verso, 2006).

  • 20. Antony Copley, “Congress and the Risorgimento: A Comparative Perspective,” D. A. Low ed. The Indian National Congress: Centenary Hindsights (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1988).

  • 21. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, The Arctic Home in the Vedas: Being Also a New Key to the Interpretation of Many Vedic Texts and Legends (Poona City: Tilak Brothers, 1903).

  • 22. John McLane, Indian Nationalism and the Early Congress (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977).

  • 23. Sanjay Joshi, Fractured Modernity, 48–56.

  • 24. Vasudha Dalmia, The Nationalization of Hindu Traditions; Gyanendra Pandey, Construction of Communalism in Colonial North India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990); Peter van der Veer, Religious Nationalism.

  • 25. Rajmohan Gandhi, Understanding the Muslim Mind (Delhi: Penguin, 2002), 45.

  • 26. Pandey, Construction of Communalism, 210.

  • 27. Pandey, Construction of Communalism, 158–200; Sandria B. Freitag, Collective Action and Community: Public Arenas and the Emergence of Communalism in North India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989)

  • 28. D. D. Kosambi, “The Bourgeoisie Comes of Age in India,” Science and Society (New York) vol. X, 1946: 392–398.

  • 29. Aurobindo Ghosh, “New Lamps for Old – 3.” Indu Prakash (August 28, 1893).

  • 30. Charu Gupta, Sexuality, Obscenity, Community: Women, Muslims, and the Hindu Public in Colonial India (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2001), 39–66.

  • 31. Sanjay Joshi, Fractured Modernity; Margrit Pernau, Ashraf Into Middle Class: Muslims in Nineteenth-Century Delhi (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

  • 32. Tapati Guha-Thakurta, The Making of a New “Indian” Art: Artists, Aesthetics and Nationalism in Bengal, c.1850–1920 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Kathryn Hansen, Grounds for Play: The Nautanki Theatre of North India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991); Francesca Orsini, The Hindi Public Sphere (1920–1940): Language and Literature in the Age of Nationalism (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2009).

  • 33. For one (of many) works on the transformation of temple dances into Bharatanatyam, see Davesh Soneji, Unfinished Gestures: Devadasis, Memory, and Modernity in South India (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012).

  • 34. Janaki Bakhle, Two Men and Music: Nationalism in the Making of an Indian Classical Tradition (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2008). For a history of the other “classical” tradition of music of southern India, see, Lakshmi Subramanian, From the Tanjore Court to the Madras Music Academy: A Social History of Music in South India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006).

  • 35. Rokeya Sakhawat Hosain, “Sultana’s Dream,” (originally published in The Indian Ladies’ Magazine, Madras, 1905).

  • 36. Mrinalini Sinha, Specters of Mother India: The Global Restructuring of an Empire (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006).

  • 37. Veer Bharat Talwar “Women’s Journals in Hindi, 1910-1920,” in Kumkum Sangari and Sudesh Vaid ed. Recasting Women, 204–232.

  • 38. Sanjam Ahluwalia, Reproductive Restraints: Birth Control in Colonial India, 1877–1947 (Urbana and Bloomington: University of Illinois Press, 2008).

  • 39. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1981), 357–358.

  • 40. David Hardiman, Gandhi in his Times and Ours (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004).

  • 41. Shekhar Pathak, “The Begar Abolition Movement in British Kumaon,” The Indian Economic and Social History Review 28.3 (July–September, 1997): 261–279; William Pinch, Peasants and Monks in British India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).

  • 42. Shahid Amin, Event, Metaphor, Memory: Chauri Chaura, 1922–1992 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); Sumit Sarkar, Popular Movements and Middle Class.

  • 43. “a confidential Intelligence Bureau account, Terrorism in India (1917–1936) went so far as to declare that ‘for a time, he bade fair to oust Mr. Gandhi as the foremost political figure of the day,’” wrote Sumit Sarkar, Modern India: 1885–1947 (Delhi: Macmillan, 1983), 269.

  • 44. Ranajit Guha ed. Subaltern Studies: Writings on South Asian History and Society, 5 vols. (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1982–1987).

  • 45. Ranajit Guha, Dominance Without Hegemony: History and Power in Colonial India (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997); Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments.

  • 46. M. S. S. Pandian, One Step Outside Modernity: Caste, Identity Politics and Public Sphere (Amsterdam/Dakar: SEPHIS-CODESRIA, 2001).

  • 47. The mobilization of groups such as the Namashudras of Bengal, the non-Brahmin movement in Madras Presidency, or Jyotiba Phule and then the rise of the Ambedkar-led movement in western India, challenged middle-class hegemony. See Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, Caste, Protest and Identity in Colonial India: The Namasudras of Bengal, 1872–1947 (London: Curzon Press, 1997). On Phule, among others, Rosalind O’Hanlon, Caste, Conflict and Ideology: Mahatma Jyotirao Phule and Low Caste Protest in Nineteenth-Century Western India (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2002); Veena Naregal, Language Politics, Elites and the Public Sphere explores this specifically in the context of the emergence of a middle class in Western India. For the non-Brahmin movement, see Eugene F. Irschick, Politics and Social Conflict in South India: The Non-Brahman Movement and Tamil Separatism, 1916–1929 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969).

  • 48. Sumit Sarkar has argued this position cogently and forcefully in, “Intimations of Hindutva: Ideologies, Caste and Class in Post-Swadeshi Bengal” in Beyond Nationalist Frames: Relocating Postmodernism, Hindutva, History (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2002).

  • 49. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Lala Lajpat Rai, were founders of the HMS. Many INC leaders at the local and national level were regular members of the RSS gatherings at their daily “shakhas.” For the RSS, see Walter K. Andersen and Shridhar Damle, Brotherhood in Saffron: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu Revivalism (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987); for the HMS, Prabhu Bapu, Hindu Mahasabha in Colonial North India, 1915–1930: Constructing Nation and History (Routledge, 2013).

  • 50. Pradip K. Dutta, Carving Blocs: Communal Ideology in Early Twentieth-Century Bengal (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999); Sumit Sarkar, “Fascism of the Sangh Parivar.” Economic and Political Weekly of India 28.5 (30 January, 1993); Tanika Sarkar, Hindu Wife Hindu Nation; also, among others, Amiya P. Sen, ed. Social and Religious Reform; Peter van der Veer, Religious Nationalism; Partha Chatterjee The Nation and Its Fragments.

  • 51. Sanjay Joshi, Fractured Modernity, chapter 4.

  • 52. Peter Hardy, The Muslims of British India, 187.

  • 53. Ibid., 189.

  • 54. Ayesha Jalal, The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

  • 55. Venkat Dhulipala, Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2016); Markus Daechsel, “Being Middle Class in Late Colonial Punjab,” in Anshu Malhotra and Farina Mir, ed. Punjab Reconsidered: History, Culture, and Practice (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2012), 320–355.

  • 56. See Gyanendra Pandey, Remembering Partition: Violence Nationalism and History in India (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001); Yasmin Khan, The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007).

  • 57. David Ludden, “Orientalist Empiricism: Transformations of Colonial Knowledge” in Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament, 271.

  • 58. M. K. Gandhi. Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule (Ahmedabad, India: Navajivan Publishing House, 1996), 28. This is part of the The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.

  • 59. David Hardiman, Gandhi in His Time and Ours (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), 107.

  • 60. David Hardiman, “Father of the Nation,” in Gandhi in His Time and Ours, 94–122.

  • 61. See Hind Swaraj, for both his indebtedness to Maine and his ideas about decentralization of power to “village republics.”

  • 62. Any of the literature on the “high politics” of partition will testify to the bickering over power. See, for instance, Ayesha Jalal, Sole Spokesman. For contestations over power in post-independence India, the best guide is Ramachandra Guha, India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy (New York: HarperCollins, 2008).

  • 63. Rajani Palme Dutt, India Today (London: Gollancz, 1940), 323.

  • 64. Partha Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse? (London: Zed Books, 1986).

  • 65. The best source for the early years of Nehru’s India remains, Ramchandra Guha, India After Gandhi, particularly, 1–283.

  • 66. Instead of “the music of the veena or the sitar” (Indian musical instruments) Gandhians complained that the Constitution they saw resembled “the music of an English band.” Quoted in Guha, India After Gandhi, 121.

  • 67. See, Guha, India After Gandhi, 367–372 for just one example of Patel’s antipathy towards Muslims in post-Partition India, and his differences with Nehru on the question of minorities. On the implication of Patel’s death and some other differences between him and Nehru, Ibid., 141–142.

  • 68. Guha, India After Gandhi, 118, 146, 241–242, 246–247.

  • 69. Ramachandra Guha, “Verdicts on Nehru: Rise and Fall of a Reputation” Economic and Political Weekly 40.19 (May 7–13, 2005), 1958–1962.

  • 70. For problems with using the term “Bollywood,” see Ashish Rajadhakshya, “Bollywoodization of Indian Cinema.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 4.1 (2003), 25–39.

  • 71. For details, see Do Bigha Zamin.

  • 72. The film’s title and story were a chosen as a deliberate contrast to Katherine Mayo’s controversial 1927 polemic with the same title that had outraged Indian nationalists of the time. Clearly that resentment was alive even thirty years later. See Rosie Thomas, “Sanctity and Scandal: The Mythologization of Mother India,” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 11:3 (1989): 11–30; for the controversy over the Mayo book, Mrinalini Sinha, Specters of Mother India.

  • 73. Rajni Kothari, “The Congress ‘System’ in India,” Asian Survey (1970): 1161–1173; Atul Kohli, Democracy and Discontent: India’s Growing Crisis of Governability (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

  • 74. Sudipta Kaviraj, “Indira Gandhi and Indian Politics,” Economic and Political Weekly 21.38–39 (September 20–27, 1986): 1697–1708.

  • 75. Francine R. Frankel, India’s Political Economy 1947–2004: The Gradual Revolution, 2d ed. (New Delhi and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005); Christophe Jaffrelot, India’s Silent Revolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002).

  • 76. Arvind Rajgopal, “The Emergency as Prehistory of the New Indian Middle Class.” Modern Asian Studies 45.5 (2011): 1003–1049.

  • 77. For one example, see Raj Thapar, All These Years: A Memoir (Delhi: Penguin Books, 1991).

  • 78. See Kohli, Kothari and Marlon Weiner, Party Building in a New Nation: The Indian National Congress (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967).

  • 79. For a study of servitude in middle-class households in the 1990s, see Seemin Qayum and Raka Ray, “The Middle Classes at Home,” Amita Baviskar and Raka Ray, ed. Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Class (Delhi: Routledge, 2011); for the colonial era, Swapna Banerjee, Men, Women and Domestics: Articulating Middle Class Identity in Colonial Bengal (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004).

  • 80. For a well contextualized discussion of the anti-Mandal protests, see D. L. Sheth, “Society,” India Briefing: A Transformative Fifty Years (Delhi: Aakar Books, 2001), 91–120, and especially 113–116.

  • 81. While there are many studies of this phase of Hindu Nationalism, S. Gopal, ed. Anatomy of a Confrontation: Ayodhya and the Rise of Communal Politics in India (Delhi: Palgrave Macmillan, 1993) and David Ludden, ed. Contesting the Nation: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996) remain some of the best historically informed overviews on this subject.

  • 82. Leela Fernandes, India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an Era of Economic Reform (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006). For the notions of social and cultural capital, Pierre Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1977).

  • 83. Smitha Radhakrishnan, Appropriately Indian: Gender and Culture in a New Transnational Class (New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2012); for middle-class Non-Resident Indians’ continued, and in fact exaggerated, engagement with “tradition” and temple building, see Joanna Waghorne, Diaspora of the Gods: Modern Hindu Temples in an Urban Middle Class World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).

  • 84. A plethora of scholarship now exists on the subject, for one example, see Jyotsna Kapur, “An ‘Arranged Love’ Marriage: India’s Neoliberal Turn and the Bollywood Wedding Culture Industry.” Communication, Culture and Critique 2 (2009): 221–233.

  • 85. Ravinder Kaur, “Good Times, Brought to You by Brand Modi,” Television & New Media 16.4 (2015): 323–330.

  • 86. Compare, for instance, the ideas of domesticity among respondents in Radhakrishnan, Appropriately Indian, 145–171, with M. Madhav Prasad’s discussion of “Middle Class Cinema,” Ideology of the Hindi Film: A Historical Construction (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998), 160–187.

  • 87. Srirupa Roy, “Being the Change: The Aam Aadmi Party and the Politics of the Extraordinary in Indian Democracy,” Economic and Political Weekly of India XLIX.15 (April 12, 2014): 45–54.

  • 88. E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Pantheon, 1964).

  • 89. Sanjay Joshi, “Thinking About Modernity from the Margins: The Making of a Middle Class in Colonial India.” In Abel Ricardo López and Barbara Weinstein, eds. The Making of the Middle Class: A Transnational History (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012), 29–44.

  • 90. M. N. Roy, India in Transition (Bombay: Nachiketa Publications, 1971), particularly Chapter One; R. C. Dutt, The Economic History of India, 2 vols. (Delhi: Publications Division, 1990). Dhurjati Prasad Mukerji linked the formation of a “new middle class” to colonial land-tenure and commercial policies, see his Sociology of Indian Culture Originally published, 1948. Second edition; reprint. Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 1978. Also, D. D. Kosambi, “The Bourgeoisie Comes of Age in India.”

  • 91. It was a time when academics believed that “their mandate was to act on behalf of ‘the people’ who constituted the nation.” Satish Deshpande, Contemporary India, 128.

  • 92. B. B. Misra, The Indian Middle Class (London: Oxford University Press, 1961).

  • 93. For an elaboration of this argument, see Sanjay Joshi, “The Spectre of Comparisons: Studying the Middle Class of Colonial India” in Amita Baviskar and Raka Ray, eds., Both Elite and Everyman, 83–107.

  • 94. Misra, 11.

  • 95. C. A. Bayly, The Local Roots of Indian Politics: Allahabad, 1880–1920 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975); J. H. Broomfield, Elite Conflict in a Plural Society: Twentieth-century Bengal (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968); John Gallagher, Gordon Johnson, and Anil Seal, eds. Locality, Province and Nation: Essays on Indian Politics 1870 to 1940 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1973); Anil Seal, The Emergence of Indian Nationalism: Competition and Collaboration in the Later Nineteenth Century (London: Cambridge University Press, 1968); David A.Washbrook, The Emergence of Provincial Politics: The Madras Presidency, 1870–1920 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1976) are among the best known of the works from the “Cambridge School.”

  • 96. “‘Westernized Middle Class’: Intellectuals and Society in Late Colonial India,” in John L. Hill, ed. The Congress and Indian Nationalism: Historical Perspectives (London: Curzon Press, 1991), 18–55.

  • 97. Harjot Oberoi, Construction of Religious Boundaries, 260.

  • 98. Joya Chatterjee, Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition, 1932–1947 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2002): 3–6.

  • 99. C. A. Bayly, Empire and Information, 181.

  • 100. Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments, 22.

  • 101. While there are many postcolonial scholars whose work has added much to scholarship on the middle class, it would be remiss not to mention Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000).

  • 102. See his “‘Kaliyuga’, ‘Chakri’ and ‘Bhakti’: Ramakrishna and his Times,” for a different take on Ramakrishna, who also figures prominently in Partha Chatterjee’s arguments, also “Vidyasagar and Brahmanical Society,” both in Sumit Sarkar, Writing Social History, 282–357 and 216–281; also “Identity and Difference: Caste in the Formation of the Ideologies of Nationalism and Hindutva” Ibid.: 358–390. Tithi Bhattacharya, The Sentinels of Culture offers another critique of Chatterjee’s argument.

  • 103. Claude Markovits, Merchants, Traders, Entrepreneurs: Indian Business in the Colonial Era (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2008).

  • 104. Merchant groups play a central role in Douglas Haynes’s analysis of the middle class in colonial Surat, of course. Douglas E. Haynes, Rhetoric and Ritual in Colonial India: The Shaping of a Public Culture in Surat City, 1852–1928 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991). On the other hand, historical studies of mercantile and entrepreneurial groups make no effort at seeing them as part of the middle class either. See, for instance, David West Rudner, Caste and Capitalism in Colonial India: The Nattukotai Chettiars (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994) and Thomas A. Timberg, The Marwaris: from Traders to Industrialists (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1978). Anne Hardgrove’s study might suggest some reasons for this, when she reveals tensions extant between the Bengali bhadralok and Marwari communities in Kolkata, see, Community and Public Culture: The Marwaris in Calcutta, c. 1897–1997 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004).

  • 105. Utsa Ray, “Consumption and the Making of the Middle-Class in South Asia” History Compass 12.1 (January 2014): 11–19, provides an excellent overview of work on this topic.

  • 106. Douglas E Haynes, Abigail McGowan, Tirthankar Roy, and Haruka Yanagisawa eds., Towards a History of Consumption in South Asia (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2010); also see Christophe Jaffrelot and Peter van der Veer, eds., Patterns of Middle Class Consumption in India and China (Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2008).

  • 107. A. R. Venkatachalapathy, In Those Days There Was No Coffee: Writings in Cultural History (Delhi: Yoda Press, 2012); Arjun Appadurai, “How to Make a National Cuisine: Cookbooks in Contemporary India” Comparative Studies in Society and History 30.1 (January 1988): 3–24; Sanjay Srivastava, Sexual Sites, Seminal Attitudes: Sexualities, Masculinities and Culture in South Asia (New Delhi: Sage, 2004); Christiane Brosius, India’s Middle Class: New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity (New Delhi: Routledge, 2010); Carol A. Breckenridge, Consuming Modernity: Public Culture in a South Asian World (Minneapolis: University Of Minnesota Press, 1995).

  • 108. Prashant Kidambi, “Consumption, Domestic Economy and the Idea of the ‘Middle Class’ in Late Colonial Bombay,” in Sanjay Joshi ed., Themes in Indian History: The Middle Class in Colonial India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2010), 132–153.

  • 109. Note that the works of Kumkum Sangari, Lata Mani, Barbara Metcalf, Gail Minault, Tanika Sarkar, Mrinalini Sinha, Anshu Malhotra, Charu Gupta and Sanjam Ahluwalia, cited above, were all published either in the late 1980s or afterward. These would be now be considered required reading for a full understanding of the middle class in colonial India, which is an indication both of the compelling arguments made by these (and other) scholars, as well as the changing nature of the historiographical field. While a number of other works could be cited to support this, Rosalind O’Hanlon, A Comparison Between Women and Men: Tarabai Shinde and the Critique of Gender Relations in Colonial India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002), deserves special mention for the theoretical acuity of the introduction and the valuable primary source material contained in the text.

  • 110. Some of the important contributions include, G. Arunima, There Comes Papa: Colonialism and the Transformation of Matriliny in Kerala, Malabar, c. 1850–1940 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003); Indrani Chatterjee ed., Unfamiliar Relations: Family and History in South Asia (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004); Durba Ghosh, Sex and the Family in Colonial India: The Making of Empire (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Rochana Majumdar, Marriage and Modernity: Family Values in Colonial Bengal (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009); Mytheli Sreenivas, Wives, Widows, Concubines: The Conjugal Family Ideal in Colonial India (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008).

  • 111. Antoinette Burton, Dwelling in the Archive: Women Writing, Home, and History in Late Colonial India (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).

  • 112. Gandhi, an Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth (London: Phoenix Press, 1949); Jawaharlal Nehru, an Autobiography: With Musings on Recent Events in India (London: John Jane, 1936); Abulkalam Azad, India Wins Freedom: The Complete Version (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 1988); Ambedkar: Autobiographical Notes (Pondicherry, India: Navayana, 2005).

  • 113. Choudhry Khaliquzzaman, Pathway to Pakistan (Lahore: Longmans, 1961).

  • 114. Rashsundari Debi and Tanika Sarkar, Words to Win: The Making of “Amar Jiban”: A Modern Autobiography (Delhi: Kali for Women, 1999).

  • 115. Nirad C Chaudhuri, The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968); Mulk Raj Anand, Autobiography (New Delhi: Arnold-Heinemann, 1985).

  • 116. Prakash Tandon and Maurice Zinkin, Punjabi Century, 1857–1947 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969). Ved Mehta wrote a series of “family biographies” as well as autobiographies. While there are too many to list here, they do capture a sense of the everyday and family life of the middle class better than some of the more politically oriented ones above. For those interested in exploring biographical writing as a source, I would also recommend David Arnold and Stuart Blackburn, Telling Lives in India: Biography, Autobiography, and Life History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004), and perhaps Sankaran Krishna. “The Bomb, Biography and the Indian Middle Class” Economic and Political Weekly of India 41.23 (June 10, 2006).

  • 117. A small sampling might include, Rudyard Kipling, Kim (New York: Dover Publications, 2005); Flora Annie Webster Steel, On the Face of the Waters: A Tale of the Mutiny (London: Forgotten Books, 2012); E. M. Forster, A Passage to India (San Diego: Mariner Books, 1965); George Orwell, Burmese Days (New York: Penguin, 2014).

  • 118. For the period before independence, see, Maulvi Nazir Ahmad, The Bride’s Mirror: Mirat- Ul Arus: A Tale of Life in Delhi a 100 Years Ago (New Delhi: Sangam Books, 2001); Bankim Chandra Chatterji Anandamath (New Delhi: Orient Paperbacks, 2000); Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi, Sarasvatichandra Part I: Buddhidhan S Administration (New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2015). Potheri Kunhambu, Saraswativijayam Translated by Dilip Menon (New Delhi: The Book Review LT, 2002); Premchand. The Gift of a Cow (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002); Raja Rao, Kanthapura (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011), among many others. The list for post-independence India would be even longer, and an even less representative sampling could include, Amitav Ghosh, The Shadow Lines: A Novel (Boston: Mariner Books, 2005); Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance, 1st edition (New York: Vintage International, 1997); R. K. Narayan, Malgudi Days, Revised edition (New York: Penguin Classics, 2006); Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things: A Novel, Reprint edition (New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2008); Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children: A Novel (New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2006); Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy: A Novel, Reissue edition (New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2005); Bapsi Sidhwa, Cracking India: A Novel (Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions, 2006).

  • 119. The comprehensive list of all Native Newspaper Reports

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