Experiencing the New Order

Anindita Mukhopadhyay

in Behind The Mask

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

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This chapter examines the need of the educated middle class to establish themselves as an ‘aware legal subject’, as they experienced a different formation of a public sphere that came with the colonial political economy. This in turn demanded a different perception and articulation of the law, both as a sign of sovereignty and the manner in which it regulated the subject race. It looks at the writings of Rammohan Roy, who stressed on a dialogue between the government and the politically aware subjects within the new public sphere created by print media. While some educated Indians struggled to rationalize the intellectual seduction of colonial rule, lines of separation were being drawn between a select few who would be able to comprehend the blessings of British rule, and the vast majority who would not. It is argued that the few educated elite who understood the new rule, fashioned the mould of the new ‘legal subject’ according to their understanding of the new requirements, in an attempt to empower their own social class.

Keywords: colonial rule; legal subject; Rammohan Roy; print media; middle class; educated elite

Chapter.  20986 words. 

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