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POLI 322 sept 14.docx

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Political Science
POLI 322
Narendra Subramanian

POLI 322 – Lecture Notes September 14, 2012 COLONIAL POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS -East India Company -bureaucracy in command -military -representative institutions -princely states -first century of British rule: East India Company set up by British crown, authorized to conduct trade on behalf of India -for a brief period of about a year, British rule was threatened -lesson: East India Company wasn’t fit to rule India -through the last 90 years of British rule, the crown was directly in control -created a larger state more engaged with society -they decided they needed to pay more attention to local culture -unelected bureaucracy was the main political force -led by the governor general -over the course of the last century of British rule, more South Asians were recruited into the British bureaucracy -so, by the end, all but the very top figures were South Asians -boards were set up by nominating some elites STAGES IN EXPANSION OF SELF-GOVERNMENT -1880s: local boards; nomination -1909: limited franchise elections to local and district boards  separate Muslim electorates -1919: provincial governments -1935: franchise expanded to 20%  increased provincial government autonomy -1946: national assembly -2 main political parties at the time were Congress Party and Muslim League -participated in 2 elections in 1936 at provincial level -there was gradual devolution of power to political institutions -this was sort of based on the model of the extension of power to the British parliamenet from the British crown -pace of devolution of power demanded on the extent of mass mobilization and how safe they found the local political leaders -in British India, every phase of devolution corresponded to phases in the growth of mass politics -in Sri Lanka the pattern was different -colonial officials found Sri Lankan leaders more trustworthy, so handed power over more fully to an elected assembly as early as 1931  introduced universal franchise -princely states in about a quarter of South Asian territory -a lot of the business of everyday governance was run by local princes -in most of these princely states, governance was more authoritative and less accountable than the areas directly ruled by the British -in some regions, reformist princes came to power and introduced more extensive education and distributive benefits than British HINDU IDENTITY POLITICS -colonial knowledge and identity politics -making a Hindu community -cow protection -alterative expressions of Hindu identity -Hindu identity politics and Indian nationalism MAKING THE HINDU COMMUNITY -background: colonial censuses, Christian and Muslim missionary activity, periodization of Indian history -aim: Hindu solidarity across caste lines -some means to build the community: cow protection, “reconversion” -local political elites responded in different ways to colonialism -some people bought certain aspects of the story, but reinterpreted other aspects of the story in different ways -Gandhi accepted aspects of the characterization of Indian society -there were studies about what subordinate groups do -these studies suggested that although subordinate groups might have been less privileged, they didn’t take orders from dominant groups -there were some changes taking place -Christian missionaries were critical of caste distinctions and used this to attract groups to Christianity -along with interpreting religion as central to South Asian society, some British historians came up with an interpretation of there having been a Hindu period, a Muslim period (medieval period), and modern period (Christian/British rule) -this all influenced how people went about mobilizing Hindus as a whole -census enumeration promoted Hindu groups to feel like they belonged to national level religious groups -conversion efforts of missionaries made some Hindu elites feel anxious that they might lose the battle of numbers -efforts were made to Hindu-ize the lower groups -promised to treat them better in order to keep them on side -British
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