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conflictual relations with the Congress together with the intra-regional variations and the uneven depth and spread of the movements have been well documented and lucidly presented. The growing mass appeal of the Congress despite its ambivalence, compromises and retreats on basic issues, mobilization of women to add substance to the struggle for independence, the complex linkages between the anti-feudal and anti-imperialist struggles and the unresolved caste/class, tribal-non-tribal, coast-hinterland contradictions have been comprehensively addressed. Such unresolved latent tensions raise doubts about the familiar belief that the freedom movement brought about emotional integration and fostered a sense of unity.
The multiple, interrelated processes of change, spread over half a century, together with the gradual but continuous erosion of the hegemony of the feudal and colonial order is subtly woven into the text. The author, however, also recognises the limitations of the movements and the attendant changes. The 'historyless* acquire visibility—Laxman Naiko in remote Koraput District, among many such other unsung heroes who find mention, is a case in point. He attained messianic traits in popular belief. This book, thus, sees the national movement in Orissa in the round, in a broader canvas.
The first and the last chapter are of particular interest insofar as they focus on the regional specificity, culture, agrarian problems and unfulfilled dreams. The introductory chapter sheds light on landholding patterns, community rights, the growing moneytization of the economy, land revenue, the changing political economy under the Raj, mechanisms of social control/integration and legitimation, Hinduization, internal differentiation within peasant and tribal communities and the related problem of social mobility, language (Oriya) and the formation of regional identity, etc. This discussion of the simultaneous processes of change in 19th century Orissa provides a comprehensive and necessary background to the chapters that follow. The title of the last chapter—'From Raj to Swaraj: The Complexities of Transition, 1943-50'—succinctly sums up its content. The survival of Quit India in popular memory, famine, continued popular unrest, the PCC's shifting position on the landlords and zamindari abolition, formation of the new ruling class, achievements of the state people's movement and flowing from it the merger of the princely states with Orissa constitute its subject matter. Remarks on the incomplete agenda, truncated swaraj and the gulf between popular expectations and realities fill the concluding space.
The use of folk songs and verses immensely enriches the narration of historical developments and human experience. Besides, they help to shift the discursive ground. Changing perceptions, visions and realities come alive. However, the decoding and delineation of the domain of popular perceptions and the role of rumour in mass movements though fascinating are not always unproblematic. The