This book explores the ascent and trajectory of communal ideology in pre-Partition Bengal-from the famine of 1943 to the Noakhali riots of 1946-47. The first major work to analyse communalism as an ideology located in a concrete historical plane, this book argues that the period after 1943 witnessed a clash between nationalism and communalism, where communal ideologies embarked on a new phase, determined to replace nationalism.Among the distinguishing features of this important study are that it: - Critically evaluates the historiography of communalism in India - Relates the occurrence of the Bengal famine of 1943 to the agendas and activities of the major political parties of that region-the Muslim League, the Hindu Mahasabha, the Congress and the Communist Party of India - Examines in detail the Calcutta riots of 1946 and the role of both the colonial authorities and the Premier of the province, H S Suhrawardy, in the violence - Presents an entirely fresh perspective on the reasons behind the Noakhali riots with the help of an array of new sources, both primary and secondary - Analyses Gandhi`s visit to Noakhali, presenting him as resolute and prepared to embark on an ideological fight against communalism.

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