By Kavita Philip
Kavita Philip unravels unforeseen relationships among technology, expertise, and administrative platforms in colonial India from the 1850s to the Thirties, deepening our viewpoint on carrying on with conflicts over race, assets, and empire. it is a tale in regards to the development of nature in southern India that's deeply neighborhood and irreducibly international. via exact case experiences, Kavita Philip indicates how race and nature are primary to figuring out colonial modernities. via its insightful mixture of methodologies from either the arts and the social sciences, Civilizing Natures casts new mild on our figuring out of the relationships among technology and faith, premodern and civilized, and atmosphere and society.
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Additional info for Civilizing Natures: Race, Resources, and Modernity in Colonial South India
43 Southwest India participated in global trade and culture for several centuries before the advent of British rule in India. Even before Vasco da Gama landed at Calicut in 1498, this port on India’s southwest coast was one of the Introduction 25 major entrepôts for the extensive Indian Ocean spice trade, which linked India’s pepper and spice production to the ports of Malacca, Hormuz, and Aden, across Egypt to the markets of Alexandria, and thence to Venice and other European markets. 44 The system was largely free from specialized political control until it was modified first by the Portuguese and then by the Dutch, both of whom systematically attempted to expel other traders (especially Arab Muslims) from the area.
Despite the implication in this passage that indigenous ties to the land were easily swept aside, it was not the case that all Nilgiri tribes acquiesced passively to either the appropriation of their land or the succeeding upliftment programs of the state and the church. In a later section I touch briefly on the complex issue of indigenous resistance and the competing narratives of nature offered to the English settlers. Power and Authority Why did the colonizing group see itself as somehow fit to take charge of the land?
It is said that what His Lordship did not accomplish, was afterwards secured by his Lordship’s steward, who feted the Badaga chiefs and when he had got them into good humour, persuaded them to give up the land on condition of receiving an annual fee of 35 Rupees. ”20 Here we see the same land of enchantment invoked, but this time at the end of a narrative that exposes the other side of the bargain. Nor were the new inhabitants content with having gained control of the land; they had grander plans in mind: environmental and social progress through systematic planting, efficient production, and a pedagogy of scientific progress.
Civilizing Natures: Race, Resources, and Modernity in Colonial South India by Kavita Philip