ABSTRACT

While the Bengal Ambulance Corps and the Bengali Regiment were carving out their spatialities in the human geographic sprawl of the Great War, the Gandhian moment arrived as a liminal juncture in the history of Indian nationalism. The defining spatiality and geographic trope of this last phase of Indian anticolonialism was, this chapter demonstrates, the bagh, or the garden, and its language a galvanising pathos. Focusing on the bagh as the site of Indian anticolonialism during the mass phase of anticolonialism, this chapter examines some key episodes in the period 1919–1932 – Jallianwala Bagh (April 1919), the less-discussed 1921 Chandpur tea gardens workers' exodus, the 1921 and 1922 Nankana Sahib and Guru-ka-Bagh violence against Akali Sikhs near Amritsar, and the more sensational 1932 Alfred Park shootout in Allahabad in which police killed the revolutionary Chandra Shekhar Azad. I also examine, here, gardens in colonial prisons and in Indian cultural memory as enabling sites of political imagination. Overall, this chapter examines the different political meanings that came to be attached by Indian activists and writers to spatialities of resistance and anticolonialism during the critical postwar years. Before expanding upon these particular spatialities of Indian anticolonialism, however, a brief political chronology is in order.