The Mind and the Medium

Explorations in the Evolution of British Imperial Policy in India

First Edition

ISBN(s) 978-81-88789-64-X
Pub. Date October 2010
Pages 232
Dimensions 8.5 in x 5.5 in
Rights All rights available
  India Elsewhere
Paperback 978-81-88789-64-X
₨. 350
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Vina Mazumdar revisits the questions crucial to understanding the intellectual history of colonial India. She analyses the many dimensions of colonial policy, the intentions and motivations of the men on the ground and in charge, the debates around policy making, the significance of the options involved and choices made, the context of colonialism and anti-colonialism as it impinged on policy making and its reception by different sections of Indians, and the social and political implications of specific imperial policies.

In the process she explores the efforts of Indians to evolve and create ideas and institutions geared to Indian needs and aspirations, providing meticulous documentation of conflict and assertion in the areas of education, gender, culture and political claims.


Foreword by Barun De

  1. Imperial Policy in India, 1905–1910
  2. Education and Social Change: Three Studies on 19th Century Bengal
  3. Politics of Representation: The Role of H. H. Risley

Brief Biographical Notes

Cover image: Untitled, painting by Zainul Abedin


Vina Mazumdar’s long-unknown fragments of a social scientific look at intellectual history were part of a general movement during the 1960s. We may not then have come to a clear understanding of “a colonial heritage that we now renounce”. But we were certainly questioning it and doing so in a positivist spirit. On the other hand, we were quite cautious about not tumbling over into the post-modernism that became so fashionable via Althusser, Foucault, Said and their subaltern epigoni in the 1970s and the 1980s. As a reminder of intermediate times, on the cusp of changing intellectual tradition, these articles should interest readers of Indian political thought.

— Barun De

About Vina Mazumdar Read full profile ›

Vina Mazumdar (b. 1927) studied at Calcutta University and at Oxford University. She has taught Political Science at the University of Patna and Berhampur University, and has been a fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. After a... Read more

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