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Forgotten FriendsMonks, Marriages, and Memories of Northeast India$
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Indrani Chatterjee

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198089223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198089223.001.0001

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Political Ecology and Reconstituted ‘Hindu’ Marriage

Political Ecology and Reconstituted ‘Hindu’ Marriage

(p.127) 3 Political Ecology and Reconstituted ‘Hindu’ Marriage
Forgotten Friends

Indrani Chatterjee

Oxford University Press

This chapter tracks a network of marriages that tied together the Vaisnava-Buddhist households of Kuch Bihar, Tripura, Manipur, Burma, and Assam in the late eighteenth century. It shows the conditions under which East India Company officials delegitimized particular conjugal arrangements that prolonged the political alliance between two different monastic households and lineage. The chapter details the fortunes of one particular marriage by levirate that was dissolved by the Company after 1833. This not only denied a widow her rightful inheritance but also escalated conflict in the lands held by different Vaisnava Hindu households across the hills (Kachar) of Assam, Manipur, and Tripura.

Keywords:   colonialism, conjugal arrangements, marriage networks, political alliance, monastic households, marriage by levirate, Vaisnava Buddhist alliances

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