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Colonialism as Civilizing Mission

Cultural Ideology in British India

Edited by Harald Fischer-Tiné and Michael Mann
 

Colonialism as Civilizing Mission

A fresh examination of the ideology, programmes, expressions and consequences of the British 'civilizing mission' in South Asia.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781843310914
March 2004 | 362 Pages | 234 x 155mm / 9.2 x 6.1
 
PRICE:  £70.00  /  $115.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9781843310914

About This Book

'What is intellectually stimulating is the variety that this volume offers - the ways in which individual essays bring into light a new body of archival sources as well as the manner in which eash essay offers a specific geographical-cultural episode of a larger pan-Indian narrative around the colonial "civilizing mission."' —Srirupa Prasad, 'Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History'

Inherent in colonialism was the idea of self-legitimation, the most powerful tool of which was the colonizer's claim to bring the fruits of progress and modernity to the subject people. In colonial logic, people who were different because they were inferior had to be made similar - and hence equal - by civilizing them. However, once this equality had been attained, the very basis for colonial rule would vanish. 'Colonialism as Civilizing Mission' explores British colonial ideology at work in South Asia. Ranging from studies on sport and national education, to pulp fiction to infanticide, to psychiatric therapy and religion, these essays on the various forms, expressions and consequences of the British 'civilizing mission' in South Asia shed light on a topic that even today continues to be an important factor in South Asian politics.

Readership: These essays provide a fresh analysis for students of British imperialism as well as readers interested in South Asian history or the post-colonial era.

Author Information

Harald Fischer-Tiné is Professor of History at the ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich).

Michael Mann is Assistant Professor and Senior Lecturer at the Fern Universitaet, Hagen.

Table of Contents

'Torchbearers Upon the Path of Progress': Britain's Ideology of a 'Moral and Material Progress' in India. An Introductory Essay; PART I: TRIAL AND ERROR: 1. Dealing with Oriental Despotism: British Jurisdiction in Bengal, 1772-93; 2. 'A Race of Monters': South India and the British 'Civilizing Mission' in the Later Eighteenth Century; 3. Between Non-Interference in Matters of Religion and the Civilizing Mission: The Prohibition of Suttee in 1829; PART II: ORDERING AND MODERNIZING: 4. 'The Bridge-Builders': Some Notes on Railways, Pilgrimage and the British 'Civilizing Mission' in Colonial India; 5. Taming the 'Dangerous' Rajput; Family, Marriage and Female Infanticide in Nineteenth-Century Colonial North India; 6. What Is Your 'Caste'? The Classification of Indian Society as Part of the British Civilizing Mission; PART III: BODY AND MIND: 7. Sporting and the 'Civilizing Mission' in India, 8. 'More Important to Civilize Than Subdue'? Lunatic Asylums, Psychiatric Practice and Fantasies of 'the Civilizing Mission' in British India 1858-1900; 9. The Sympathizing Hear and the Healing Hand: Smallpox Prevention and Medical Benevolences in Early Colonial South India; 10. Perceptions of Sanitation and Medicine in Bombay, 1900-1914; PART IV: THE CIVILIZING MISSION INTERNALIZED: 11. National Education, Pulp Fiction and the Contradictions of Colonialism: Perceptions of an Educational Experiment in Early-Twentieth-Century India; 12. In Search of the Indigenous: J C Kumarappa and the Philosophy of 'Gandhian Economics'; 13. The Civilizational Obsessions of Ghulam Jilani Barq; Notes, Index