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Modernity of SlaveryStruggles against Caste Inequality in Colonial Kerala$
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P. Sanal Mohan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198099765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198099765.001.0001

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Memory and Experience

Memory and Experience

Discourses of Slavery

(p.214) 5 Memory and Experience
Modernity of Slavery

P. Sanal Mohan

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the process by which memories of slave experience of Pulayas, Parayas and similar castes are kept alive in contemporary Kerala by the followers of Prathyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha. In the preceding chapter reference has been made to the discourses developed by the PRDS as part of their strategies to negotiate equality. In this chapter it is argued that, as part of the imagining of equality, the movement also developed ritual discourses on slavery through which a kind of ‘analysis in practice’ of the enslavement of the slave caste communities was articulated. The ritual discourses focus on experiences of oppression and suffering that are crucial for understanding slavery. Along with the re-memory of slave experience, the chapter discusses the ideological world of the PRDS to contextualise its later transformation and the introduction of the discourse of slavery.

Keywords:   memory, experience, social memory, categories, community of sentiments

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