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Komagata Maru episode and the veteran Sikh British soldier's revolt in the history of Indian nationalism

WithParomita Deb

The paper discusses the role of the rural Sikh soldier passenger in the Komagata Maru journey in 1914. During the First World War, it generated widespread unrest amongst Sikh soldiers of the British army. The discriminatory racist treatment meted out to the military peasantry instigated radical Ghadar revolutionaries to challenge their colonial essentializing notions of loyalty. The paper critiques traditional historiography by re-evaluating contemporary Punjabi anti-colonial consciousness, and the relevance of such provincial movements. By tracing specific historicities of subaltern nationalist resistances, it intends to enrich our understanding of the larger, synthetic mosaic of narratives in the historiography of Indian nationalism.