16 research outputs found

    Princely India Re-imagined

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    India’s Princely States covered nearly 40 per cent of the Indian subcontinent at the time of Indian independence, and they collapsed after the departure of the British. This book provides a chronological analysis of the Princely State in colonial times and its post-colonial legacies. Focusing on one of the largest and most important of these states, the Princely State of Mysore, it offers a novel interpretation and thorough investigation of the relationship of king and subject in South Asia. The book argues that the denial of political and economic power to the king, especially after 1831 when direct British control was imposed over the state administration in Mysore, was paralleled by a counter-balancing multiplication of kingly ritual, rites, and social duties. The book looks at how, at the very time when kingly authority was lacking income and powers of patronage, its local sources of power and social roots were being reinforced and rebuilt in a variety of ways. Using a combination of historical and anthropological methodologies, and based upon substantial archival and field research, the book argues that the idea of kingship lived on in South India and continues to play a vital and important role in contemporary South Indian social and political life

    New Dalit Assertion and the Rejection of Buffalo Sacrifice in South India

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    Taking a cue from the recent prevention of a buffalo sacrifice to a powerful local goddess in Karnataka and the writings of Dalit activist-turned-spiritual-guru M. C. Raj, this article traces a history of how buffalo sacrifice has been witnessed, described and analyzed from the mid nineteenth to the twentieth century. This endeavor reveals how structural-functionalist understandings of the ritual obscured the voice of Dalit dissent while stressing the organic unity of the village as a whole. This was despite the fact that colonial accounts, relied upon in later studies, clearly documented the reluctance of Dalits to participate. This article also finds within colonial writings an unexpected description of Dalits as original inhabitants of the land, an idea that has been revived in contemporary movements of Dalit assertion

    Princely India Re-imagined

    Get PDF
    India’s Princely States covered nearly 40 per cent of the Indian subcontinent at the time of Indian independence, and they collapsed after the departure of the British. This book provides a chronological analysis of the Princely State in colonial times and its post-colonial legacies. Focusing on one of the largest and most important of these states, the Princely State of Mysore, it offers a novel interpretation and thorough investigation of the relationship of king and subject in South Asia. The book argues that the denial of political and economic power to the king, especially after 1831 when direct British control was imposed over the state administration in Mysore, was paralleled by a counter-balancing multiplication of kingly ritual, rites, and social duties. The book looks at how, at the very time when kingly authority was lacking income and powers of patronage, its local sources of power and social roots were being reinforced and rebuilt in a variety of ways. Using a combination of historical and anthropological methodologies, and based upon substantial archival and field research, the book argues that the idea of kingship lived on in South India and continues to play a vital and important role in contemporary South Indian social and political life

    Princely India Re-imagined

    Get PDF
    India’s Princely States covered nearly 40 per cent of the Indian subcontinent at the time of Indian independence, and they collapsed after the departure of the British. This book provides a chronological analysis of the Princely State in colonial times and its post-colonial legacies. Focusing on one of the largest and most important of these states, the Princely State of Mysore, it offers a novel interpretation and thorough investigation of the relationship of king and subject in South Asia. The book argues that the denial of political and economic power to the king, especially after 1831 when direct British control was imposed over the state administration in Mysore, was paralleled by a counter-balancing multiplication of kingly ritual, rites, and social duties. The book looks at how, at the very time when kingly authority was lacking income and powers of patronage, its local sources of power and social roots were being reinforced and rebuilt in a variety of ways. Using a combination of historical and anthropological methodologies, and based upon substantial archival and field research, the book argues that the idea of kingship lived on in South India and continues to play a vital and important role in contemporary South Indian social and political life

    The slow death of the diorama:Tribal and ethnographic museums in India since independence

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    During colonial times, dioramas were commonly used to portray the diverse peoples of India. They depicted essentialised human types through plaster models in rural settings, engaged in typical activities and dated back to the exhibition of human beings in universal expositions held in Calcutta, Delhi, and London. Since independence there have been determined efforts to move away from colonial stereotypes and to decolonise government-funded museums in India. Meanwhile, Adivasi artists are finding their own way out of the curatorial confines of the museum. This paper describes how Indian museology still struggles to exorcise the ghosts of the Victorian museum and India’s own internal colonialism

    Guru Logics

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    This commentary highlights the diversity of thematics and conceptual schema generated by guru-ship, and its capacity—as a set of principles as much as specific persons—to participate in, and move between, multiple social and conceptual domains. The aim is to reassess some of the key existing literature on guru-ship while developing a kind of analytical toolkit in order to aid future studies and stimulate new thought on the phenomenon. The guru, we argue, is a social form of peculiar suggestibility. We suggest that the multiplicity and diversity of the guru’s political and economic entanglements point toward a sense of the guru’s uncontainability, a quality which, in a seeming irony, relies at least in part on the guru’s ability to contain diverse others (principally his/her devotees and former incarnations). We present the case study of an avatar guru—a particularly prolific “collector of associations”—who exemplifies the expansive personhood of the guru as an “inclusive singularity.” Emphasising the plural forms of guru-ship, we define categories of anti-guru and collective guru while also drawing attention to the guru’s mimetic proficiency and the complex role of the guru in imagination and fantasy and gender politics. The political and governmental functions of guru-ship are also analysed, with “guru governmentality” not “just another” agency of devolved governance in an era of economic liberalisation but the retooling of the radical asymmetry of the guru-devotee relationship in order to produce “humanitarian” or “developmental” effects, which from devotees’ point of view could hardly be glossed as “secular”

    Moulage ou reconstitution du réel --Louis Delaporte et le Musée indochinois de Paris--

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