By Gyan Prakash
To the fashionable international, the notions that freedom is an innate of people and that cash possesses the facility to bind humans seem as average evidence. Bonded Histories strains the old tactics through which those notions turned verified as dominant discourses in India in the course of colonial rule and endured into post-colonial India. Gyan Prakash locates the formula of those discourses within the historical past of bonded labour in southern Bihar. He specializes in the emergence and next transformation of the connection of reciprocal energy and dependence among landlords and labourers. the writer explores the way those alterations have been attached with broader shifts within the political economic climate of this a part of the subcontinent; with the altering buildings of agricultural creation, land tenure and profit call for; with neighborhood social hierarchies and the ideology of castes; and with Hindu cosmologies, spirit cults and their articulation in ritual practices.
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Extra info for Bonded Histories: Genealogies of Labor Servitude in Colonial India
26 Although double-cropping statistics do not give a completely accurate view of the quality of agricultural production, they reveal the difference a more assured supply of water made to agricultural seasonality in different places. 3 shows, northern thanas with inter-dependent tank and channel systems had a larger double-cropped area. It is true that a large part of the second crop was composed of cheaper crops like khesari, a leguminous crop sown among the rice stubble, and gram. 28 Even so, it is evident that, generally speaking, endowed with a more assured system of irrigation, the northern part of Gay a had more intensive agricultural operations.
Once these were taken as the basis for knowing and administering the region, the Ganges became the natural basis for conceiving north and south Bihar as distinct landscapes and agricultural regions. By the late nineteenth century, this larger division of Bihar into north and south was well established in the administrative discourse and was superimposed on the district map. 1 In this way, north and south Bihar became visible as regions. 1 For example, the data on irrigation facilities is tabulated according to north and south, overriding district boundaries.
23 The singing of epics is the climactic act of the ritual performance by which two Bhuinya families that have come together affirm their common descent from Tulsi Bir. Since it is the concluding act of the marriage ritual, sung to the throbbing beat of the mandar drum, the function of oral traditions appears to be one of reinforcing Bhuinya identity and solidarity. This is evident not only from the ritual context in which these traditions are performed, but also from the fact that the oral narratives historicize the Bhuinya identity; telling stories establishes the historical facticity of Bhuinyas as a distinct group.
Bonded Histories: Genealogies of Labor Servitude in Colonial India by Gyan Prakash