Writing this book has been a most stimulating and enjoyable experience. This subject has literally brewed for twenty-five years although serious research and writing, done mostly along with my teaching assignments, have taken eight years.
I am most obliged to the British Council for providing a fellowship which enabled me, decades ago, to do a Master's in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science. I am grateful to the governing body of my college for granting two years study leave during 1990-2 which I used to collect material for this monograph at Delhi, Calcutta and London. I am indebted to the University Grants Commission for providing a grant under 'Source Material Access Visitorship' and to the London School of Economics for inviting me as 'Academic Visitor' during 1991-2 that enabled me to work at various repositories in Britain. I also wish to thank the Indian Council of Historical Research for providing 'Research Project Grant'. Above all I wish to express my gratitude to the staff members of various archives and libraries where I worked: the Public Records Office, the British Library, the India Office Library and the British Library of Political and Economic Science in London; the National Library in Calcutta; and the National Archives of India, the Nehru Memorial Library, Delhi University Library, the Indian Council of Historical Research Library, Indraprastha College Library and Devahuti-Damodar Library in Delhi.
My colleagues and friends helped me and encouraged me in various ways. It is a great pleasure for me to record my thanks to Professors James Joll, M.S. Anderson, Ian Nish, Bipan Chandra, Bimal Prasad, Parthasarathy Gupta, Suhash Chakravarty, R.L. Shukla and Monica Juneja, Drs Frank and Rita Sebastianpillai, Veena Arora, Veena Sachdev and Mr Hasham. I would like most sincerely to thank successive generations of 'International History' post-graduate students of Delhi University and History (Hons) final year students of Indraprastha College on whom I inflicted my own interpretation of international relations and the nature of British rule in India. Their questions and comments have sharpened the text considerably. Finally, I wish to add that I owe more to my husband, Rajinder P. Mahajan and my family than they will ever know.