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Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

The East India Company and Hindu Law in Early Colonial Bengal

Appropriation and Invention of Tradition by Nandini Bhattacharyya Panda
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This book, strongly grounded in primary sources, makes an important contribution to the intellectual history of early modern Bengal. It brings to light the complex interpenetration of diverse interests, opinions, and ideologies articulated by various social groups implicated in the process of colonization on the lines of Ranajit Guha's work on property relations in Bengal and Radhika Singha's work on law. There is no comparable work specifically on the subject of Hindu property rights and how these came to be perceived or interpreted in early modern Bengal. The author explores the so-called compendia prepared under British auspices and argues that there was hardly any link between the Smritis and the laws. The latter were determined almost entirely by changing British policy with regard to land revenue and that many of the positive features of Hindu custom like women's rights to property were undermined in the process.
OUP India; December 2007
ISBN 9780199087907
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Title: Appropriation and Invention of Tradition
Author: Nandini Bhattacharyya Panda