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By Mahmood Mamdani

Define and Rule specializes in the flip in past due nineteenth-century colonial statecraft while Britain deserted the try to get rid of distinction among conqueror and conquered and brought a brand new suggestion of governance, because the definition and administration of distinction. Mahmood Mamdani explores how strains have been drawn among settler and local as designated political identities, and among natives in response to tribe. Out of that colonial adventure issued a latest language of pluralism and difference.

A mid-nineteenth-century difficulty of empire attracted the eye of British intellectuals and resulted in a reconception of the colonial undertaking, and to reforms in India, British Malaya, and the Dutch East Indies. the recent politics, encouraged through Sir Henry Maine, confirmed that natives have been sure by means of geography and customized, instead of heritage and legislations, and made this the foundation of administrative practice.

Maine’s theories have been later translated into “native management” within the African colonies. Mamdani takes the case of Sudan to illustrate how colonial legislations tested tribal identification because the foundation for deciding upon entry to land and political energy, and follows this law’s legacy to modern Darfur. He considers the highbrow and political dimensions of African events towards decolonization by way of targeting key figures: the Nigerian historian Yusuf Bala Usman, who argued for a substitute for colonial historiography, and Tanzania’s first president, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who learned that colonialism’s political good judgment was once criminal and administrative, no longer army, and will be dismantled via nonviolent reforms.

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Extra info for Define and Rule: Native as Political Identity

Example text

If they are too fast, there will be no security. The true solution of the problem will be found, I believe, in some such examination and classification of Indian phenomena as that of which I have been venturing to affirm the possibility. Those who, guided solely by Western social experience, are too eager for innovations 23 D e f i n e a n d R u l e : N a t i v e a s P o l i t i c a l Id e n t i t y which seem to them indistinguishable from improvements, will perhaps be overtaken by a wholesale distrust when they see in institutions and customs, which would otherwise appear to them ripe for destruction, the �materials of knowledge by which the Past, and to some extent the Present, of the West may be interpreted.

Unlike direct rule, indirect rule aimed at the reproduction of difference as custom, not its eradication as barbarism. It focused on ordinary Â�people, not just the colonized elite. Before managing difference, colonial power set about defining it. Nick Dirks called this “the ethnographic state,” which wielded the census not only as a way of acknowledging difference but also as a way of shaping, sometimes even creating, difference. The focus of colonial power, after 1857, was to define colonial subjectivity.

The “martial races”— in Nick Dirks’s words, “Macaulay’s hyperbolic denunciation of effeminate Bengalis”65—were classified in 1857. The 1872 decennial survey classified Indian society first and foremost according to a Â�single identity: caste, while locating it within a larger setting, village, race, and religion. The regime of protection was inaugurated with the Indian Councils Act of 1909, also known as the Morley-Â�Minto Reforms. For the first time, separate electorates were created in the provincial and central legislative bodies: not only were reserved seats created for Muslims in the councils, this reservation also went alongside another: only Muslims were entitled to vote in the competition over these seats.

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