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At the MarginsDiscourses of Development, Democracy, and Regionalism in Orissa$
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Jayanta Sengupta

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198099154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198099154.001.0001

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Social Structure and Political Arithmetic under Colonial Rule

Social Structure and Political Arithmetic under Colonial Rule

(p.12) Chapter One Social Structure and Political Arithmetic under Colonial Rule
At the Margins

Jayanta Sengupta

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the basic features of colonial Orissa’s society and economy, and discusses how economic impoverishment and limited political and legislative resources provided the material basis for the rhetoric of ‘marginality’/‘backwardness’ that defined the politics of Oriya identity. The political geography of the Oriya-speaking country, and the different patterns of historical evolution, governance and economic development in the coastal and the hill areas are explored in detail. On the whole, this chapter demonstrates two things: (i) the pervasive self-perception of marginality shared by the Oriya educated middle classes gave Oriya nationalism its defining theme; and (ii) though the subsequent Oriya nationalist emphasis on linguistic unity sought to encompass the coasts and the hills in a single cultural community, this endeavour was complicated by dichotomous traditions of rule and divergent patterns of social and political development in the two sub-regions.

Keywords:   colonialism, caste, religion, community, jagannath, agrarian, language, ethnicity, marginalization, tribes

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