The other Mahatma’s naive monarchism
Phule, Paine, and the appeal to Queen Victoria
in Colonial exchanges
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This chapter traces out the substance of Brahman domination and Sudratisudra slavery, especially by way of the analogies Jotirao Govindrao Phule draws to American slavery. It analyses the influence of Thomas Paine's writings on Phule's diagnosis of Brahman oppression by conquest and priestcraft as well as Phule's representation of Sudratisudras as the once and future constituent power of Maharashtra. The chapter explores the politics of supplication and sentimentality in Phule's writing, and especially how these come together by way of his naive monarchist critique of intermediary authorities in the appeal to Queen Victoria. As a nameable phenomenon, naive monarchism is a product of twentieth century radical historiography. The chapter argues that the simultaneously real and surreal character of Slavery's political intervention, whose agency could only have arisen under British imperialism even as it points beyond it, derives from Phule's position between critique and catachresis.

Colonial exchanges

Political theory and the agency of the colonized

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