This paper will look at the many ways in which the Easter Rising had an impact on the Indian nationalist movement. 

Firstly, it will look at Indians that had Irish encounters before and during 1916, including those who were resident in Ireland at the time. 

Then it will look at the Chittagong Armoury Raid of 1930, which was explicitly modelled on the Easter Rising. Chittagong is a seaport town on the Bay of Bengal, now the second largest city in Bangladesh, but in 1930 it was in British India. The raid, carried out by Hindu nationalists to coincide with Easter, was recently depicted in the Bollywood film ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey.’

Then, I will detail how the Easter Rising influenced the well-known Indian radical, Subhas Chandra Bose. His story is the antithesis of the world-renowned Gandhi inspired non-violent struggle against the Raj and he had many Irish connections.

Another dimension which is peppered throughout the paper is the manner in which the British Government sought to learn from its mistakes in the aftermath of 1916. These reflections on the part of British colonial administrators translated into attempts to apply these lessons correctly in Indian colonial policy. The Rising was gradually, and perhaps grudgingly, viewed by them as an example of the failures in their imperial policy. 

Finally, the paper considers if, in the decades after 1916, the Irish Rising acquired a ‘cult’ following in the wider imperial sphere, and to what extent the various appropriations of the memory of 1916 had an impact on the British decolonisation process.

Dr Kate O’Malley is Assistant Editor of the Royal Irish Academy's Documentson Irish Foreign Policy (DIFP) series (seven volumes, 1998-2010 covering 1919 to1945). She is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin (BA, PhD). She has written extensively on Indo-Irish relations and her book Ireland, India and Empire was published by Manchester University Press in 2008.

This event is organised by Féile an Phobail as part of their Spring Festival; Féile an Earraigh

Event Details

Address

Falls Library
Falls Road
Belfast
Antrim
BT12 4PD

Date

Monday, March 21, 2016 - 13:00

Centenary Event

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