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Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

Nandini Bhattacharya-Panda

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195690484
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081516 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195690484.001.0001
Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

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The beginning of Anglo–Hindu jurisprudence was occasioned by decisive developments in the cultural, intellectual, and legal history of India. This book deals with the appropriation of the Dharmaśāstras — a powerful written tradition — and its codification, in the construction of Hindu law. It explores the significant connections between this process of formalization and the consolidation of the empire in Bengal. It analyses the shifting administrative and political needs of the colonial regime as well as the perceptions and attitudes of the officials in this process of codification. Through a careful study of the compilations, Vivādarṇavasetu and Vivādabhangārṇava alongside their late eighteenth-century colonial translations, the book brings out the ways in which ancient textual traditions — the prescriptive, normative, and moralistic rules of the Dharmaśāstras — were metamorphosed into legal rules to be directly administered in courts. Investigating the intricate and dynamic links between power and knowledge in the evolution of institutions under colonial rule, this book underlines innovative ways of looking at the legal history of colonial India.

Keywords: Dharmaśāstras; Hindu law; legal history; colonial India; codification of Hindu law

Book.  280 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Law

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Table of Contents

The Pre-colonial Tradition of the Dharmaśāstras in Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

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<i>Vivādarṇavasetu</i> and <i>A Code of Gentoo Laws</i> in Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

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Towards a Second Code The Response to New Imperatives in Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

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Vivādabhangārṇava and A Digest of Hindoo Laws in Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

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