Tod’s sympathetic understanding of Rajput difference
Tod’s deliberate choice to simultaneously defend the Rajputs as a historically grounded people capable of moving into the modern world, while also upholding the beneficial effects of prolonged British rule in India can explain his political efforts to incite respect among the British authorities for the Rajputs’ sense of honour, with the intention of preventing Rajput rejection of any humiliating imposition of external British Rule. This political message of tolerance, which went against the dominant British way of thinking at the time, also situates Tod as an individual who refused to conform to simplistic, binary oppositions of powers, or races, or nations. A few comparisons of Tod’s trajectory with other scholarly British traveller-philanthropists, in the Middle East for example, highlight the particularities of Tod’s role concerning knowledge constructions about the Rajputs and the Gujaratis.
Keywords: sympathetic understanding, Rajput difference, defending the Rajputs, upholding the British Empire, British respect for Rajput honour, Preventing Rajput rejection of external British Rule, refusal of simplistic binary oppositions, Tod compared to other British traveller-philanthropists, Tod’s role in knowledge-constructions
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