Colonialism under siege
This chapter draws a broad analytical framework to take into account continuities and changes in the state and political economy, enabling us to contextualize the mass politics of the 1920s, the economic and political crises of the Depression decade, and upheavals around and during World War II. In addition to adaptations in the institutional structures of the colonial state in the changed circumstances of World War I and its aftermath, the political economy of late colonialism was different in many respects from the 'classical patterns' established during its high noon. Wartime exigencies led to the abandonment of some of the old axioms underlying the organization of the colonial state and political economy. While broadening the basis of Indian political activity, the British retained the 1909 policy of balancing interests by creating separate categories for the Muslims, landlords and the 'depressed classes'.