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On Hinduism$
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Wendy Doniger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199360079

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.001.0001

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‘I Have Scinde’: Orientalism and Guilt 1

‘I Have Scinde’: Orientalism and Guilt 1

Chapter:
(p.558) (p.559) ‘I Have Scinde’: Orientalism and Guilt1
Source:
On Hinduism
Author(s):

Wendy Doniger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.003.0040

This chapter reflects on Orientalism, anti-Orientalism, and guilt with regards to Britain’s moral ambivalence about its conquest of India. It begins with a discussion of the story about General Sir Charles James Fox Napier, commander of Sind (or Scinde/Sindh), an area that became part of Pakistan in 1947. In 1843, Napier crushed a resistance and conquered the territory for the British Empire. After the capture of Scinde, Napier sent a despatch to Lord Ellenborough consisting of the words—“Peccavi,” “I have Scinde” (sinned). This statement has a double meaning: “I have gained possession of a place called Scinde” and “I have sinned” (that is, “I have committed a moral error”). The chapter examines the meaning of this message and considers the anti-Orientalist argument that the British “invented” or “imagined” India, or Hinduism. It also considers Edward Said’s views about Kim, a novel written by Rudyard Kipling.

Keywords:   guilt, Orientalism, anti-Orientalism, guilt, Britain, conquest, India, Charles James Fox Napier, Sind, Rudyard Kipling

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