Barbara English Mukherjee Summary

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An Indian historian, Rudrangshu Mukherjee, has written this work in response to the critique by Barbara English, who was dissatisfied with Mukherjee’s interpretation of the events, which took place in 1857 at Kanpur. British settlers: soldiers, women and children were massacred with cruelty by Indian sepoys. The whole paper appears to be a self-defense of Mukherjee’s work. Despite the plethora of constructive arguments and examples, there was one thing the author could have done to make it easier for reader to understand the root of the debate between him and Barbara English. Only in the last pages of his work, he explained that he didn’t discuss the Kanpur Massacres in his book “Past and Present” because he was concerned only with events of…show more content…
It is apparent that Barbara English heavily criticizes Mukherjee for defending Indian mutineers and justifying their actions. She, in turn, appears to defend the honor of murdered British settlers. The most primitive explanation of such disagreement would be based on ethnical background of authors. It would be hastily to state that judgement of these historians relies solely on their patriotic feelings. It has to be taken into account that different historians hold different opinions about historical sources and interpret them differently. Furthermore, they can be concerned with the same issue to the different extent. As for example, Barbara English pays a lot of attention to the definition of “crime” and “identifying suspects”. Apparently, she finds this issue to be one of the critical in the discussion of the Kanpur Massacre. On the contrary, Rudrangshu Mukherjee claims that as a historian, he is not concerned with identifying who was guilty and who was innocent. He finds more importance in reading and comprehending sources in order to gain an insight into the perception of people who went through this massacre and what it meant for both parties. This is a valid argument, as

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