The popular Western perceptions of both Mohandas Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose are belied by their interactions in 1939. Gandhi, popularly perceived as the saint-like Mahatma, displayed his willingness to play political hardball to retain his hold on power. Subhas Chandra Bose, a left wing rival to Gandhi within the Indian independence movement, left a political legacy within the movement that controverts his image as an Axis collaborator of minor importance. Using primary source documents including British colonial records, contemporary newspaper reports, Indian National Congress resolutions, and statements issued by Bose and Gandhi, I outline the reasons for their clash and argue that Bose’s influence persisted past his ouster from the Congress Party leadership, reappearing in the push for the Quit India movement in 1942.



Will Woodworth – Researcher

Ian Barrow – Sponsor and Professor of History


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Karl F. Inderfurth, who worked in the U.N. and for the U.S. government specializing in South Asian affairs, gave a speech about the dynamic between India and the United States. Inderfurth started out by stating that India has a big role to play in today’s political climate. “India has emerged as one of the rising powers in the 21st century,” Inderfurth explained. “Along with China, it is one of the major powers on the Asian continent.” He then went on to state why the United States must engage with India. Inderfurth mentioned the global environment, a desire to maximize economic trade as reasons for U.S. involvement in moving the South Asian region toward stability. Many of the points he made centered on the power the two countries would have working together to create a positive change in the world. “The United States is the world’s first democracy,” he pointed out. “India is the world’s largest.” The relationship between the two nations was not always so stable. It was only after the Cold War, once India began to open itself up to other nations, that a true bond was formed. “It has been a transformation from a country with which we had an estranged relationship and democracy to one where we are engaged democracies.” However, Inderfurth admitted that he was afraid that the publicity India is receiving because of its booming economy would create an unrealistic expectation of what it can achieve in the present. “We don’t have to look at India through rose-tinted glasses,” he said. “What we need right now is a realistic outlook for the nation.” Two of the main problems India faces is maintaining its high economic growth and dealing with challenges such as infrastructure and poverty. Inderfurth added that Manmohan Singh’s government is aware of the domestic challenges it faces. “India sees itself as a developing country,” he explained. “An advanced country, but a developing country.” As of now, India’s rising population is an advantage, because the booming economy has stimulated job and education opportunities. Another aspect of the India-U.S. relationship Inderfurth focused on was where China fit in to the picture. In the past, India and China have had continuous border disagreements that created tension between them. Both nations have come together to work on their relationship, and China is now India’s largest trading partner. “The U.S. needs to engage China on its merits as it does India,” said Inderfurth, “and not get into a competition or a competitive triangle between the two. It should be a cooperative triangle, not a confrontational triangle.” Collaboration between the three nations could lead to great progress on important issues, such as climate change and energy security. Overall, “Looking at India in a realistic sense of where it is and what challenges it faces and what it can accomplish is a good idea and one that will be well served in this symposium,” said Inderfurth.


Inderfurth, Karl

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Despite unbelievable economic growth rates averaging between 8-10% in 2009 and bright economic prospects, China and India have become two of the largest contributors to world poverty. However, China has been able to alleviate more poverty than India. I believe that there are lessons to be learnt from China’s success. Thus, I will compare both nations and examine the impact of provincial politics (decentralization) on poverty alleviation to determine why China has been able to alleviate more poverty than India. Since China and India are populous, large countries, there is a strong presence of state-level political institutions, which guide policy implementation. I will, thus, examine the cases of Sichuan and Anhui in China and Kerala andBihar in India. The contrast between the success of Sichuan and Kerala and failures of Anhui and Bihar will provide insight on the impact of decentralization and effectiveness of policy implementation towards poverty alleviation.


Ruchi Singh

Jessica Teets
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Political Science

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The Indo-US 123 agreement will allow nuclear energy to become a vital part in India’s domestic energy supply. Nuclear energy could provide India 35% of its energy supply by 2050, reducing its CO2 emissions. It will substitute for the energy baseline which has been fossil-fuel based until now. India is the third highest CO2 emitter globally and the role of nuclear energy as a baseline will be vital to CO2 emission reduction goals. Foreign involvement in the Indian nuclear sector will aid the development of India’s three-stage programme, which will help to sustain its growing energy demand. In addition to providing an alternate baseline to coal, nuclear energy will increase domestic self-sustainability and reduce dependence on fossil fuels in a cost-effective manner. As a combination of multiple efforts, domestic, bi-lateral and international, the nuclear energy transition will assume an important role in India and this represents successful global environmental policy.


Siddheshwar Singh

Jon Isham
Sponsor & Associate Professor of Economics

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Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). “Government of India: Department of Atomic Energy: Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research.” October 2010.

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A MiddLab Project

The Raja of Sattara and British Power in 19th Century India

Learn more about History and South Asian Studies at Middlebury College.

One way of understanding British power in India is by looking at British policies in individual states. Beginning in 1818, the state of Sattara was ruled by an Indian prince called a Raja, who was directly put into power by the East India Company. Two decades later, the East India Company came into the possession of documents which questioned the Raja’s allegiance to the Company, British troops within India, and even Great Britain itself. Even with the knowledge that these documents were falsified, however, the British deposed the Raja of Sattara after an insufficient and politicized investigation into his supposed crimes. An examination of the fall of the Raja provides a glimpse into British power in India.


Samuel Hurt

Ian Barrow
Sponsor and Professor of History

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