CBC Digital Archives

India: our sister dominion

India is the world's largest democracy and its second most populous, but for decades its image was mainly that of a poor nation with a rich history. Shaken by periodic religious strife and still largely a rural and agricultural country, India has nevertheless emerged in the new millennium as an increasingly important global player. From its colonial origins to the bright lights of Bollywood, CBC Digital Archives presents a collection of clips about India past and present.

It stretches from the northern peaks of the Himalayas to Kerala's lush southern tropics and its history reaches back over 4,000 years. With almost 400 million people, hundreds of languages and four major religions, India is a difficult country to summarize. In this 1942 radio drama about the largest country in the British Empire, a book on India literally comes to life. Characters representing the first man in India, a member of India's colonial civil service, and a modern-day Indian man illustrate aspects of India's culture, history and politics. 
• At the time of this clip, 1942, India was still a British colony, though a strong movement to oust the British had been active since the First World War.
  • Indian nationalists were angered by Britain's unilateral decision to include India in the Second World War and its refusal to plan for postwar India. In 1942, when it seemed possible the Japanese would attempt to invade India, Mohandas Gandhi launched the "Quit India" movement, which called for Britain to pull out and let Indians deal with Japan. The raj - British powers in India - responded by arresting and jailing Gandhi and 60,000 other Indians they believed were undermining the war effort. 

Medium: Radio
Program: British Commonwealth
Broadcast Date: June 28, 1942
Music: John Weinzweig
Writer: Fraser MacDonald
Duration: 21:23

Last updated: February 6, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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