Freedom Movement in French India: Mahe Revolt of 1948, Tellicherry 2001

The Study of the freedom movement in the Indian subcontinent has always for focus, British India. Scholars had hardly paid any attention to the study of the growth of the freedom movement in French India, which comprised five territories, Pondicherry, Mahe, Karaikal, Yanam and Chandernagore. The present study aims at filling up this gap, by focusing the attention on the development of nationalism and freedom movement in Mahe or French Malabar, lying on the western coast of India, taking into consideration its historical background.

Special attention has been given to the details regarding the various events leading to the emergence of nationalism and freedom struggle in Mahe and the actors involved in them. The Mahe Revolt of 1948 against the French regime under the French governor Baron, has been highlighted as the greatest manifestation of nationalism in Mahe.

The approaches of Cambridge scholars and the Marxist historians to the development of nationalism in India stands disproved to a great extent by this study. The role of nationalist leaders of Mahe like I.K. Kumaran and P.K. Usman stands testimony to the fact that ideals and principles rather than power and profit can be great motivating factors in the struggle for freedom and the manifestation of nationalism.