A little empire
in Missionaries and their medicine
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The 'little empires' were particularly pronounced in the more remote regions of the world where the colonial presence was not otherwise obvious on a day-to-day basis. The 'little empires' that the missionaries presided over began to appear more and more anomalous as the Indian nationalist movement gathered momentum in the years after the First World War. Christian missionaries were seen as an arm of British rule, and they were able to garner support on that basis. Mahatma Gandhi had considerable sympathy for Christianity as a religion, but opposed the missionary agenda of converting people to Christianity. The main reason for the failure of the church to expand was that few Bhils were prepared to stand up to strong community pressure against conversion. The white missionaries continued to believe that amongst a tribal people the church could function only with European leadership.

Missionaries and their medicine

A Christian modernity for tribal India

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