The ‘England-returned’ were young men and women from India who studied at institutions of higher education across the British Isles and then returned to India, as will be discussed here in the early twentieth century. The short-and long-term migration of educated Indians to Western countries has been a significant feature of movement from India since the nineteenth century. In the late twentieth century, much of this migration was semi-permanent, but at the beginning of the twentieth century, a large number of Indians were moving on a temporary basis for further studies. This book will focus on such Indian students who went to Britain before independence, particularly between 1904 and 1947. 1904 is taken as a starting point as it was from this year that scholarships were introduced by the Government of India for studies in technical subjects in Britain, thus widening and increasing the composition of Indian students in Britain. This study will follow the trajectories of these students, from the inception of desire to study abroad, through their experiences in British universities with other students and their encounters with British society, to their return back to India with their qualifications, and will investigate the long-term impacts of this education and experience upon their social, economic and political lives. The Indian students came from all regions of India and all religious back-

grounds to study in institutions in Britain of all sizes and to study a wide, diverse range of subjects. The ‘Indians’ under discussion are generally of ethnic Indian descent and do not include the children of ‘mixed’ descent. This book covers a large group of people who underwent individual and collective experiences both in Britain and upon their return to India. As it is instructive and informative to view these students as a group in order to assess their wider impact, this book does not focus on particular individuals. However, as the background research is based upon primary source material of letters, memoirs and autobiographies of these former students, this overview of Indian students is illuminated and dependent upon individual recollections, examples and case studies. In following these students, the book will be posing a number of questions that include: Why Britain? Who was making the voyage? What opportunities arose from British education? How did their lives change? Did their opinions, outlooks or ideologies change? What were

the positive and negative outcomes of this education? What were the wider impacts of these students upon Britain and India? In answering these broad questions, the book will also explore some of the finer points and nuances of the historical impact of these students to add to our understanding of British Imperial and South Asian history and some of the theory that directs historical study today. The use of the term ‘England-returned’ implies that these Indian students

were a prominent and significant social group. Yet, despite their relatively large number and the prestige they attracted at the time, these students have escaped the detailed interest of historians. One of the reasons for this oversight is the difficulty of categorizing the study of these students into a particular existing field. The stories and paths of these students cover a wide range of issues from Indian social and political history, to British attitudes towards race and class, the educational history of India and Britain, the history of the imperial relationship between India and Britain, and the growth of international connections and globalization. Yet, the wide range of fields addressed by studying these students only adds to the importance of this research. As Edward Shils has noted and is worth quoting in full below, the study of Indian students in Britain before 1947 will be exciting and fill an important gap in history:

It is a history full of drama, full of poignant and melancholy episodes of failures and humiliations, of the gradual loss of contact with India, even among those most fervently devoted to it. It is a microcosm of the process of the modernisation of return, the reassimilation into the family and into Indian life, the feeling of lostness at home and homesickness for a foreign country. It is a tale of honour and distinction, of prizes won and honours gained, and of ridiculous and pathetic mishaps and disasters. It is a history yet to be written.1