Law and Imperialism: Criminality and Constitution in by Preeti Nijhar

By Preeti Nijhar

Legislation that have been imposed through colonizers have been as a lot an try to be certain their very own id as to regulate the extra harmful parts of a probably unruly population. This name makes use of fabric from either British Parliamentary Papers and colonial archive fabric to supply proof of criminal switch and reaction.

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Extra info for Law and Imperialism: Criminality and Constitution in Colonial India and Victorian England: Volume 6 (Empires in Perspective)

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This process of negotiating roles and identities is most apparent between unequal parties. In caste relations, prescriptive definitions of the lower groups require compliance with the new role. For example, in the colonial context, the labelling of an out-group by the imperial state was only effective when the former came to accept its secondary status and to act in appropriate supplicant fashion to the colonial masters. Through retrospective interpretation, the interactional process substitutes a new and debased conception of the person’s essential character.

The very fact of the existence of such historical accounts disputes the point Said makes about the Orient as only being spoken for, from outside, by Europeans. There exist representations of this Other, which are presented through his/her eyes in Victorian England too. Given the importance of these alterative voices to the imperial project, Said’s binary logic is fractured by the silence with which it operated to further silence this Other, in both the metropolis and in the colonies. Divisions are no longer credible.

In short then, these mechanisms of exclusion and inclusion are as essential part of the imperial state, as are the strategies of incorporation and transformation. As a result, Indian people, like the non-Western in the metropolis, were neither fully excluded nor fully included. In essence, law, as the central moral imperative, ought to have assured stability and the ultimacy of determination. However, for the law to rule, especially in the imperial setting, it had to embrace the opposite attributes.

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