While most of the Germans who suffered expulsion during the First World War lived within British shores, the Royal Navy brought Germans from throughout the world to face incarceration in the their network of camp. This book offers a new interpretation of global migration from the early nineteenth until the early twentieth century. It examines the elite German migrants who progressed to India, especially missionaries, scholars and scientists, businessmen and travellers. The book investigates the reasons for the migration of Germans to India. An examination of the realities of German existence in India follows. It then examines the complex identities of the Germans in India in the century before the First World War. The role of the role of racism, orientalism and Christianity is discussed. The stereotypes that emerged from travelogues include: an admiration of Indian landscapes; contempt for Hinduism; criticism of the plight of women; and repulsion at cityscapes. The book moves to focus upon the transformation which took place as a result of this conflict, mirroring the plight of Germans in other parts of the world. The marginalisation which took place in 1920 closely mirrored the plight of the German communities throughout the British Empire. The unique aspect of the experience in India consisted of the birth of a national identity. Finally, the book places the experience of the Germans in India into four contexts: the global history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; German history; history of the British Empire in India; and Indian history.
Hegemony, shifting identities and conversions
It is a rather strange world that we live in. Whereas in this post-modern age
many of us can appreciate Darwin and his theory of the evolution of the
human species and we can identify with scientists searching for the missing
link, it is difficult for most of us to accept that originally we were all adivasis.
This seems to be the undiscovered ‘missing link’ when it comes to the
evolution and development of the caste system in south Asia.
Another problem relates to the manner in which Hinduism is presented as
mysticism. The Transcendentalists, as the name implies,
thought of themselves as religious thinkers, not just literary writers or
cultural commentators (though they were both of these). But it is
significant that their idea of religion was formed mainly by their study
of texts such as the Bhagavad Gita rather than the New Testament.
Their preference for Hinduism over Christianity led to their being
regarded as subversives, or even heretics. At best, they were accused of
superficiality, of dabbling in Eastern thought instead of engaging with
the profundities of the pilgrim
, and some by fate, but I have
In Time’s eye
never met an Englishman yet who hated Islam and its people as I have met
Englishmen who have hated other faiths. Musalmani awadani, as the saying goes
– where there are Mohammedans, there is a comprehensible civilisation.’25
Kipling was a good hater and the other side of the coin is that in India
the greater his sense of affinity with Islam and Muslims, the greater his con
tempt for Hinduism and Hindus, whom he associated with some of the worst
shortcomings of Indian society such as caste, the plight of widows
The differentiation between the laity and those who have received ordination in a religion is not characteristic of all religions. In some it is demarcated, in some it is not to be found, and in yet others the differentiation is blurred. I would like to contrast the recognition and concern for the laity in Buddhism with the other major religion of early India, Hinduism, which tends either to leave it fluid or as in some sects, gives it no recognition. Votive inscriptions from Buddhist sites in the Deccan, the northern part of the Indian peninsula, during the
the intellectual sphere, he also examined the ‘German
Servants of the British Raj’, focusing upon those who worked as
scientists and scholars at the height of the Empire. 7
Entanglement or transformation points to the fact that
some sort of pre-existing positions existed which subsequently underwent
change. Clearly, one of these positions was religion. Christianity and
Hinduism form the starting points
cynical reading might
suggest that their erasure of Indian difference promotes uppercaste Hindu exclusivism (in an altogether more innocent, but
not radically different manner from that of more recent Hindu
fundamentalists); a more generous reading of their emphasis
on Narayan’s Indian authenticity might see this elision as an
attempt to extend their pride in the local into the national.
Lakshmi Holmstrom’s 1973 study9 also displays a tendency to
collapse the distance between Indianness and Hinduism, but
offers a more probing and lucid account of the Hindu background to
lack of experience made him less
critical of Indian character, since he had not been exposed to the
racism inherent in British rule over India. On the other hand, the
overwhelming presence of Hinduism and Islam among the Indian
community in London evoked his sweeping condemnation of Indian
culture as heathen. This religious argument for the superiority of
Britain’s culture to
This book aims to sketch the diversities of south Asian social History, focusing on Orissa. It highlights the problems of colonialism and the way it impacted the lives of the colonised, even as it weaves in the manner in which the internal order of exploitation worked. Based on archival and rare, hitherto untapped sources, including oral evidence, it brings to life diverse aspects of Orissa's social history. These include areas like the environment; health and medicine; conversion (in Hinduism); popular movements; social history of some princely states; and the intricate connections between the marginal social groups and Indian nationalism. It also focuses on decolonisation and its meanings. Alongside, it explores the face of patriarchy and gender-related violence in post-colonial Orissa. While achieving this task, this book follows the track of an inter-disciplinary tradition and draws upon social anthropology and political sociology. The manner in which it engages with and questions the received wisdom of imperialist, nationalist and subaltern historiography would make it attractive to both the specialist and the non-specialist reader. Besides focusing on the history of colonialism and its ruthless progress over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, its concerns include the manner in which the post-colonial ruling classes in decolonised south Asia negotiated a host of problems that were allowed to remain and left unresolved. This book would be of interest to students of history, social anthropology, political sociology and cultural studies. It would also attract those associated with non-governmental organisations and planners of public policy.
This book explores the work of Luce Irigaray, one of the most influential and controversial figures in feminist thought—although Irigaray herself disclaims the term ‘feminism’. Irigaray's work stands at the intersection of contemporary debates concerned with culture, gender and religion, but her ideas have not yet been presented in a comprehensive way from the perspective of religious studies. The book examines the development of religious themes from Irigaray's initial work, Speculum of the Other Woman, in which she rejects traditional forms of western religions, to her more recent explorations of eastern religions. Irigaray's ideas on love, the divine, an ethics of sexual difference and normative heterosexuality are analysed. These analyses are placed in the context of the reception of Irigaray's work by secular feminists such as Judith Butler, Drucilla Cornell and Elizabeth Grosz, as well as by feminists in religious studies such as Pamela Sue Anderson, Ellen Armour, Amy Hollywood and Grace Jantzen. Most of these thinkers reject Irigaray's proposals for women's adoption of gender-specific qualities as a form of gender essentialism. Finally, Irigaray's own spiritual path, which has been influenced by eastern religions, specifically the disciplines of yoga and tantra in Hinduism and Buddhism, is evaluated in the light of recent theoretical developments in orientalism and postcolonialism.