Chapter

The Making of the Mask, 1854–90

Anindita Mukhopadhyay

in Behind The Mask

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195680836
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080700 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195680836.003.0022
The Making of the Mask, 1854–90

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This chapter examines the bhadralok's psychological unease and alienation with the rule of law, though they had initially been enthusiastic about the new form of governance. For peace and security, they had stood aside to allow the British regime to crush the Santhal uprising and the rebellion of 1857. Many bhadralok opted for the comparative security offered by the colonial administration. However, as the bhadralok experienced the gradual erosion of their privileges, they identified the colonial government as the cause of judicial and penal anomalies. However, this was only after the identity of criminality had been grafted onto the chhotolok. The bhadralok also claimed a culture-specific special status of immunity from the law when it came to their domestic zone — the zenana or the antahpur. It is argued that the bhadralok armed themselves with a different set of attitudinal codes, or a collective mentality, which would allow them to position themselves both against the colonial government and the chhotolok.

Keywords: Santhal uprising; rebellion of 1857; colonial administration; bhadralok; chhotolok; zenana; antahpur; rule of law

Chapter.  19346 words. 

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