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Crime and EmpireThe Colony in Nineteenth-Century Fictions of Crime$
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Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261055

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261055.001.0001

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Representing the Mutiny: ‘Criminal’ India after 1857

Representing the Mutiny: ‘Criminal’ India after 1857

(p.123) 6 Representing the Mutiny: ‘Criminal’ India after 1857
Crime and Empire


Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how the mutiny of 1857 produced a version of Indian criminality that further problematized the myth of the British rule of law. This may seem odd because the event is traditionally seen as a fertile source in the construction of a version of ‘criminal India’ where all the natives were represented as variations of the stereotypical thugs and rebels. However, once placed within the context of the shifts in ideas about crime and punishment emerging in Britain, the colonial ‘just retribution’ paradoxically threw up disturbing questions about the claims to a rule of law.

Keywords:   British rule, policing, criminal India, novel, crime and punishment, Indian criminality, rule of law, Indian mutiny, stereotypical Thugs, just retribution

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