India, between 1757 and 1857 was about settlement (White Mughals), trade (e.g., indigo), and until the 1830s and the rise of the Utilitarians, about a style of rule that while sought to plunder, sought to do so in an accommodationist idiom.Key points for this week and next
The politics of representation. Last week: Utilitarians v Orientalists
This week: British in India was about building and consolidating a colonial bureaucracy that remade the discursive terrain. In addition to continuing to maximize India as site of wealth extraction, the British colonial state regularly returned to the thorny question of how can a foreign power claim a legitimate right to rule?
Answers: over the second half of the nineteenth century: the rule of racial difference (Partha Chatterjee). Phenotypes.Factoids 1857
Forward-looking freedom movement? Backward-looking restorationist struggle? Secular movement? Jihad? Revolt against colonialism? Civil war of resisters v collaborators?
Hardened lines of racial animosityThe Colonial State
The state post-1857
--Governor-General replaced by a Viceroy
--East India Co Board of Directors replaced by a Secretary of State for India (member of Cabinet)
--The ‘Steel Frame’: racialisation of upper positions within civil service
The economy post-1857: classic mercantilism
--Exporter of agricultural raw materials (coffee, tea, jute, cotton, wheat, oil seed)
--Burden of ‘home charges’ combined with depreciation of Indian rupee against sterling (the ‘drain’- R C Dutt and Naoroji)
--India’s export surplus and Britain’s role in the global economy (till 1914). Net exporter of manufactured goods.
--Peasantry and cash cropping (famine)
The Army post-1857:
--Global strategy of consolidation of empire within India
and beyond (Sudan, China, South Africa, Egypt, Afghanistan…)
--British-Indian ethnic alchemy 1:2
--‘Martial races’: Punjab and Nepal rather than Tamil Nadu and Bengal
Politics representation and of rule: The Colonial invention of Indian tradition
--1877: Victoria Rani Durbar in Delhi
--Provincial Assemblies (Calcutta, Bombay, Madras): Colonial improvement and the Not yet of colonials’ readiness for self-governanceConnections to reading & discussion questions Read the Cohn, Representing Authority—pick your favourite sentence and/or factoid.