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Appropriation and Invention of TraditionThe East India Company and Hindu Law in Early Colonial Bengal$
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Nandini Bhattacharya-Panda

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195690484

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195690484.001.0001

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Vivādarṇavasetu and A Code of Gentoo Laws

Vivādarṇavasetu and A Code of Gentoo Laws

(p.89) Chapter III Vivādarṇavasetu and A Code of Gentoo Laws
Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

Nandini Bhattacharyya Panda

Oxford University Press

The end product of the initiatives discussed in Chapter 2 was the first digest of ‘Hindu law’ in Sanskrit, the Vivādarṇavasetu, and its English rendering, The Code of Gentoo Laws. This chapter focuses on three questions. First, whether the text and its English rendering reflected the ideology, interests, and inhibitions of the British officials, and if so, to what extent? Second, whether the codification continued the Dharmaśāstra tradition of discussing the norms and practices regarding property or whether it involved deviations that constituted an invention of tradition? Third, whether and to what extent the codification and its English rendering accommodated new issues relating to Hindu rules of property and inheritance?

Keywords:   Hindu law, Vivādarṇavasetu, codification, Dharmaśāstra, property and inheritance, A Code of Gentoo Laws

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