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The Other EmpireMetropolis, India and Progress in the Colonial Imagination$
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John Marriott

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780719060182

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719060182.001.0001

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The great museum of races

The great museum of races

(p.187) Chapter Seven The great museum of races
The Other Empire

John Marriott

Manchester University Press

This chapter focuses on the progress of missions with the history, the literature, the customs, and the mythology of Indian people, and which combined a general view of this interesting field, with the advancement of the truth. The notion of caste emerged during the formative stages of the British imagination of India. Caste attracted the hostility of evangelicals because it was seen as a powerful barrier to conversion, enlightenment and progress, and the mainstay of arguments against intervention in Indian customs. And yet caste was understood with neither rigour nor consistency. The term caste was used interchangeably with race, sect, tribe and even nation to denote a population seen to possess common traits. Indeed, it was this versatility that promoted the cavalier use of caste to provide pseudo-scientific status to theories on the nature of Indian society.

Keywords:   evangelicals, Indian customs, caste, Indian society, pseudo-scientific status, Indian customs, mythology of Indian people

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