Anindita Mukhopadhyay

in Behind The Mask

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195680836
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080700 | DOI:

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This chapter provides a discussion on the purpose of the book and its main arguments. It briefly discusses the cultural angle of the rule of law, as introduced and developed by colonial discourse, and looks at how ‘the rule of law’ brought with it a new language of the social and the institutional. It then presents the three themes running through this study. The first theme sets out the parameters of colonial discourse which posits that the colonial government created the spaces for the bhadralok's understanding of the good legal subject. The second theme argues that the bhadralok evolved a counter discourse that spun out the self-identity of good legal subjects in the public space. The third theme, the exclusion of other social categories, is based on three hidden premises that were fundamental to the educated Bengali's understanding of law and order, security, and criminality in the late nineteenth century.

Keywords: colonial discourse; self-identity; good legal subjects; social categories; colonial bureaucracy

Chapter.  7110 words. 

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