By Henry Schwarz
Constructing the legal Tribe in Colonial India offers an in depth review of the phenomenon of the “criminal tribe” in India from the early days of colonial rule to the current.
- Traces and analyzes old debates in historiography, anthropology and criminology
- Argues that crime within the colonial context is used as a lot to manage topic populations as to outline morally repugnant habit
- Explores how crime developed because the foil of political legitimacy less than army
- Examines the preferred circulate that has arisen to opposite the discrimination opposed to the hundreds of thousands of individuals laboring below the stigma of felony inheritance, generating a thorough tradition that contests stereotypes to reclaim their humanity
Chapter 1 putting Criminals, Displacing Thuggee (pages 13–46):
Chapter 2 easy methods to Make a Thug (pages 47–80):
Chapter three self-discipline, exertions, Salvation (pages 81–111):
Chapter four appearing Like a Thief (pages 112–138):
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Extra resources for Constructing the Criminal Tribe in Colonial India: Acting Like a Thief
On the one hand, approvers confessed willingly and their testimony was cross-checked for accuracy; on the other hand they were made to confess according to what became a pre-arranged script under threat of corporal punishment. What was the status of this coerced consciousness, and how could its authenticity be verified? One answer lay in becoming Indian. Another lay in becoming thug, for “through his capacity for disguise and impersonation and his skill at negotiating multiple and competing identities, [the thug] usurps the colonizer’s privilege of complex subjectivity and of movement between subject positions and thus can be read to assume some control over both the construction and flow of colonial knowledge” (55).
Roy compares this condition to that of the “hysterical” homosexual described by Foucault: “The nineteenth-century homosexual became a personage, a past, a case history, and a childhood, in addition to being a type of life, a life form, and a morphology, with an indiscreet anatomy and a mysterious physiology. … the homosexual was now a species” (quoted, 52). “Knowledge of thuggee as an essence then had to be constructed, crucially, around an absence; and all the confessions, all the subject effects produced by the testimony of approvers, were a strenuous effort to recover a ‘consciousness,’ a consciousness that would provide the foundation for the revelations that ratified the anti-thug campaign” (53).
There is ample factual evidence to argue for the existence of thuggee (the tax role), just as there is convincing proof of the exaggeration of highway banditry into a countrywide conspiracy to overthrow British rule. 32 Placing Criminals, Displacing Thuggee Anxiety and Empire After van Woerkens in the sphere of popular culture, in which she shows thuggee to be a recurring principle rather than a discrete historical phenomenon, historian Tom Lloyd and criminologist Mark Brown have taken the historiographical implications to their farthest theoretical conclusions.
Constructing the Criminal Tribe in Colonial India: Acting Like a Thief by Henry Schwarz