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Behind The Mask – The Cultural Definition of the Legal Subject in Colonial Bengal (1715-1911) - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Behind The Mask: The Cultural Definition of the Legal Subject in Colonial Bengal (1715-1911)

Anindita Mukhopadhyay


This book investigates the deeper area of class antagonism between the privileged and underprivileged classes as they faced the colonial state and its different ideas of legality and sovereignty in colonial Bengal. It examines the ambiguity in the bhadralok — the educated middle class — response to courts and jails. The author argues that the discourse of superior ‘bhadralok’ ethics and morals was juxtaposed against the ‘chhotolok’ — who were devoid of such ethical values. This enabled the bhadralok to claim for themselves the position of the ‘aware’ legal subject as a class — a ‘good’ subject ... More

Keywords: class antagonism, colonial state, colonial Bengal, bhadralok, chhotolok, rule of law, public behaviour, criminal caste, gender, women's criminality

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780195680836
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195680836.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anindita Mukhopadhyay, author
Department of History, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad