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A Despotism of Law: Crime and Justice in Early Colonial by Radhika Singha

By Radhika Singha

This quantity bargains with law-making as a cultural firm within which the colonial kingdom needed to draw upon current normative codes of rank, prestige and gender, and re-order them to a brand new and extra particular definition of the state's sovereign correct.

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Extra info for A Despotism of Law: Crime and Justice in Early Colonial India

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N asserting new notions of sovereign right, in outlining a new identity, that of the legal subject, colonial law-making was drawn into a variety of conflicts with competing sources of identity and authority. This process fostered a cognitive reassessment of the state and its agencies at various so:ial levels, setting in motion complex currents of alienation, but also (If adjustment. At the same tiJIle, 'colonial refonnulations ofsovereigll right had to find expression through the existing agencies of :>rdcr and information.

Carmi, The drmlllr ortltrs oftht court ofNiZItmUt Adtrwlut, 1796~18~ J, 1855 (henceforth, CONA for circulars from this source). , i ! f I I / ! r- j ! : willingness to testify, indicated an expansion in the claims of the .. _· Moreover, men of'credit and reputation' felt that being compelled to swear on Ganges water or the Koran in a very public forum, / was a slight upon them, suggesting that they stood in the same relation to the ruling authority as any other person. They complained that this situation made ~hem vulnerable to the machinations of their social inferiors.

I ;'f H l1 ~. , At this point, the surathal was a fOl"IIl of composite attestation, the product ofa consultation between mer of'credit and influence', those deputed by the ami! :md those frolE the locality, rather than IVlChchtri: place for p,tblic business, here for the collection of revenue; zthanbunditr: oral depositions. It is significant that the amil was often given the Mughal appellation of &ujdar. Cf. deposition of the ziliahdAr and cammgo of village Berowly in which they referred to the amil's agent as the 'nnib pbD1JStbn' and to his camp as the 'phD1JSdmy I'urcbtrry'.

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