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The First Republic The Untold True Story of the Imperial Karbhari Sarkar

Author Name: Venkatesh Rangan | Format: Paperback | Genre : History & Politics | Other Details

January 30th, 1774, a forgotten yet momentous date when a revolutionary movement originating in western India declared the formation of a republican government with executive powers residing not in kings or reigning monarchs but a representative council chosen by popular will. In the next quarter of a century, this government, known as the “Karbhari Sarkar”, expanded to cover the subcontinent from the Himalayas in the north to the river Kaveri in the south. It gave a crushing defeat to the British East India Company after an intense eight years of war and pushed back western imperialism by over three decades. It protected India’s north-western borders and repulsed successive invasions of the Afghan Durranis. It officially ended the Mughal Empire and transferred all imperial executive power to itself. 

Never before was a republican experiment on a pan-Indian and subcontinent wide-scale ever achieved. It was, in essence, the “First Republic” of India. The unsung and untold story of India’s First Republic, though forgotten in popular consciousness, has been kept alive in numerous primary sources of 18th-century history in Marathi, English, French, Portuguese, Persian and multiple Indian languages. Based on a study of these sources, The First Republic attempts to outline the rise and fall of the Imperial Karbhari Sarkar. 


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Venkatesh Rangan

Venkatesh is a senior finance professional working in Mumbai with a deep and passionate interest in Indian history. Over the years, he has researched the original 18th-century records, such as bakhars, daftars, kaifiyats, hakikats, thailis, tarikhs, residency correspondences and foreign diplomatic dispatches. With an academic and professional experience spanning multiple continents, he believes in understanding Indian historical events in a global context. With a reading list drawn from regional and world non-fiction literature, he is enthusiastic about exploring hidden connections between the past and the present. 

A key motivation for Venkatesh’s enquiries into the past has been to bring alive unsung and inadequately represented stories and personalities from Indian history.