Date Awarded


Document Type

Dissertation -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Dorothy Finnegan


For more than five decades the British government suppressed the work of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in India during 1941--1946. The SOE was a secret body engaged in sabotage, subversive activities, and black propaganda in enemy, enemy controlled, and neutral countries during the Second World War. Through the perspective of subalternity, this study reconstructs the career of Shottyendro K. Ghosh, an Indian member of the Indian Civil Service, a tiny administrative elite, overwhelmingly British in composition that was responsible for overseeing all government activity in British India. Ghosh became a quisling and leader of a fierce guerilla force for the SOE during World War II in order to protect his homeland from Japan's imperial conquests. Much of Ghosh's life continues to be an untold story. This study also examines the current World War II curriculum at a flagship university in Bengal, India, where much of the SOE operations were based, to evaluate the state of curricular affairs, the level of familiarity and scholarly activity amongst active historians and to learn to what extent SOE operations in India is included in the World War II curriculum that is taught to undergraduate history students at this institution. The contextual framework for this examination is nested in the sociology of knowledge. This study will illuminate both a precise historical moment and the ways it has been narrated in academic discourse. In doing so, it will fill a gap in Indian history.



© The Author

On-Campus Access Only