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Serving Empire, Serving Nation: James Tod and the Rajputs of by Jason Freitag

By Jason Freitag

James Tod's Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan used to be an important in forming the trendy photo of the Rājpūt, a princely "martial" caste resident in India's northwest desolate tract. This ebook explores the relationships among the political energy of the British imperial kingdom, the development of ancient thoughts within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries, and the makes use of of those structures via eu writers and Indian nationalist elites. The case of the Rajputs demonstrates how imperial histories mirrored Indian social strategies and pre-colonial varieties of wisdom, interpreted India for the area outdoors and for Indians themselves. This publication explores the a number of discourses inside Tod's Rajasthan, and eu Orientalism, to teach how intricately coded the British Empire used to be and, traditionally, is still.

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Additional resources for Serving Empire, Serving Nation: James Tod and the Rajputs of Rajasthan (European Expansion and Indigenous Response)

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The Annals has taken on a life of its own far outside the context of empire, and, in an ironic twist, served the ends of anti-imperialist, nationalist discourse in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century India. This example of the construction and life of an imperial discourse is a stark one. Tod and the Annals occupy a dominant position in the history of Rajasthan. The Annals have become canonical—the standard and authoritative historical account of the Rājpūts. As I will show, the situation is extreme: Tod’s Annals have often replaced indigenous historical accounts of Rajasthan.

Introduction 19 twentieth century nationalist writers and activists, particularly in Bengal. The image and stories of the heroic Rājpūts in Tod’s Annals had become transformed into inspirational historic images in the rhetoric and literature of the nationalist movement. 33 Where Chatterjee looked to the political discourses of empire in order to locate his derivative discourse, I explore the mechanism by which some of this derivation has occurred. The ironic turn in Tod’s discourse, from the imperial to the nationalist, is again on the level of narrative.

11 Given Tod’s central position, it would seem crucial to know something about the man himself and the way in which he performed his work. In the more than 150 years of scholarship that has been produced since his death, there is surprisingly no major study. There are many biographical essays on Tod, all of them about fifteen pages long, all of them rehearsing the same events of his official career as Political Agent to the Western Rājpūt States. There are no full-length biographies. Given the span of time since the publication of the Annals, one would also expect to see volumes of recent scholarship that advance the field of Rājasthānī history by taking in recent theoretical and academic developments.

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