Epstein, Simon. “DISTRICT OFFICERS IN DECLINE: THE EROSION OF BRITISH AUTHORITY IN THE BOMBAY COUNTRYSIDE, 1919 TO 1947”. Modern Asian Studies, 1982 16(3): 493-518. Brief summary.

In this interesting paper the author shows how political reform and the politicisation of the countryside combined to turn the district officer from an almost omnipotent local ruler embodying the presence and power of the Raj in the countryside into a demoralized, increasingly embattled and decreasingly effective local official. The “… ensuing decline in the district officer’s once overwhelming status and powers served in many ways as the most accurate bench-mark of the prolonged but continuous erosion of British influence and control in the subcontinent as a whole.” (p. 294). By the time of the Quit India Movement (1942) the decline had reached the point that only a massive use of troops allowed the British to maintain order in parts of the countryside.