New Delhi: A new book by Roderick Matthews seeks to explain the British rule in India beyond the binaries of imperialism and nationalism.
Titled ‘Peace, Poverty and Betrayal’, the book published by HarperCollins India, will be launched on 20 June on on ‘SoftCover’ —ThePrint’s e-venue to launch select non-fiction books.
Matthews argues that the foundation of common purpose between colonisers and powerful Indians was “oblige and rule’, noting that this was more a state of being than a solid system.
According to him, British policy on India was never consistent. The East India Company went from being an incompetent ruler to arguably the world’s first ‘liberal government’, where both Indians and British shared conservative as well as progressive attitudes towards colonialism.
Matthews illustrates that this ambiguity and diversity in British-Indian relations shaped India’s independence struggle.
Roderick Mathews is a graduate in history from Balliol College, Oxford. His great-grandfather was the tutor of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and taught him for his Harrow entrance exams. One of his great-grandmothers also cared for Gandhi in 1914 when he fell ill.
Matthew’s earlier books include Jinnah vs Gandhi and Chandra Shekhar: And the Six Months That Saved India.