Becoming India demonstrates that the Western Himalayas were politically, economically and socially distant from the civilisations and empires of the North during pre-colonial times. It helps in better understanding of the present developmental success of Himachal Pradesh as well as the politics of the demand for separate statehood by Uttarakhand. It studies how the Western Himalayas became a part of the Indian nation during colonial times.
It examines in detail the peasant rebellions, clan and caste, polyandry, establishment of hill stations, land and forest settlements, education, folklore and mythology, begar and monetisation. It also focuses on the British policy and nationalist politics, to make its central point that the colonial encounter in the Western Himalayas was qualitatively different from the neighbouring parts of North India and its history cannot be subsumed into the general history of India.
This book would be of interest to historians, sociologists, anthropologists, development workers as well as those interested in mountain societies and women's studies.