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Adda seminar – Intimate colonisation: Christianisation and law creation in British India

South Asia Research Institute Seminar


Joyce Das, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU


RegNet Meeting Room, Level 3, Coombs Extension, Building #8, ANU


Tuesday, 14 August, 2018 - 12:00 to 13:00

Did every group in British India encounter colonisation in the same manner? This paper investigates this question to show that while most Indian people and communities were colonised by the British in the seventeenth century, the ‘native’ Indian Christians became the subject of such colonisation in a more intimate way than others. The intimate subject-creation was accomplished in many ways. However, the particular focus of this paper is on two particular paths; first, through Christianisation and then through personal law creation dictating the rules around marriage, divorce, inheritance and guardianship, in everyday affairs. This paper also traces that these intimately colonised subjects were not entirely passive; instead, they operated as active agents to negotiate the law-making process in order to protect the patriarchal order within the community.

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