MODERN INDIAN historiography is increasingly, though belatedly, concerning itself wth the struggles of the oppressed. This is as ft should he, no . matter what one thinks of the specific ideological moorings of spme of the recent excursions into "history from below^ and Social Scientist can take some modest pride in the f^ct that it has all along been particularly concerned with the history of the struggles of the oppressed, evejn before such studies became de figneur. This predilection of the journal finds expression in the current number in th^ lead article by MuraH Atlury on the Manyam Rebellion qf the tribal population in the Madras Presidency in the lr920\ which was 1^ by Alluri Sitarama Raju. The article provide an interpretation of the rebellion which Afters sharply from two alternative and distinct interpretations put forward by scholars in recent yws. One such interpretation treats the rebellion as bein^ directed agaipst the traditional exploiters of the tribal population, and sees a cantpiniity between this rebellion and the earlier sporadic outbursts of tribal anger. The other interpretation sees the rebellion as a struggle between the elite interest groups and the colonia.1 administration wliich h^t encroached upon their privileges. In contrast to both these ixnte^ pretations, the author argues that the Manyam rebellion was an anti-colonial struggle of the tribal population, in which the tr^ditioinal elite groups played a vacillating rolc^ giving limited support to it at a certain stage, and distancing themselves from it when its momentum was subsiding. The leader of the rebellion, Sitarama Raju, according to the author, was consciously imbued with the idea of exclusively * concentrating its thrust against th^ colonial oppressors, by not taking on the traditional native oppressors simultaneously. His vimw went beyond this particular uprising, and encompassed a nation-wide armed uprising to overthrow colonial rule. The author has marshalled an impressive body of evidence in support of -his argument which needs carefu^perusal.
In the last number of Social Scientist we had carried an article on Sri Lankan agriculture which bad discussed the roots of the crisis in the plantation sector ^f that country* The analysis pet-sentcd there finds a striking parallel in the argument contained in the