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Author

Santhosh Abraham

Bio: Santhosh Abraham is an academic researcher from Indian Institute of Technology Madras. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Cosmopolitanism & Colonialism. The author has an hindex of 2, co-authored 3 publication(s) receiving 9 citation(s).

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Abstract: This article examines the culture of ‘formal writing’ in the making of colonial law in early British India. As part of establishing the Western governmental practices in the colony, the British introduced formal writing practices in the colonial administration. Situating on the debate of ‘continuity and change’, this article argues that ‘formal writing’ marked a significant departure from pre-colonial legal practices in India. This article first focuses on the use of ‘questionnaires’ and ‘formal letters’ in the colonial construction of legal knowledge and identified these as new mechanisms of governance in the oral based pre-colonial domains in the colony. This was the important phase in the colonial governance where the traditional domain and practices of oral communication, correspondence, messages and spoken declarations were provided with a new focus and regularity. Second, this article examines how the natives used the new logic of ‘formal writing’ to write letters and petitions to present themselves...

7 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This article presents a case study of defactorisation of production in a traditional industry – beedi rolling – in colonial South India. It examines the implementation of the Indian Factories Act a...

2 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
04 Oct 2017
Abstract: The Keyi Mappila Muslim merchants of Tellicherry (Thalassery) on the Malabar Coast were one of the few early modern Indian merchant groups who succeeded in carving out a powerful political and social configuration of their own on the western coast of the Indian Ocean during the British period. Today, several branches of Keyi families remain a cultural unit in the Islamic community of Kerala. This article attempts to locate the group in the larger theoretical context of Indian Ocean cosmopolitanism and argues that the Keyis developed a distinct and significant type of coastal cosmopolitanism in an Indian Ocean setting; Chovakkaran Moosa, an influential merchant from a Keyi family during the colonial period, serves as a representative figure. Through their trade and financial relationships with British and local elites, and the characteristic architecture of their warehouses, residences, and mosques, the Keyis successfully integrated the practices of a global cosmopolitan space into a local vernacular secluded commercial space. This article presents a synthesis of a lively coastal urban and local rural cosmopolitanism that included several networks and exchanges, foreign and native collaborations, and an amalgamation of local and external cultural spheres.

Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI

69 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Miles Ogborn. Indian Ink: Script and Print in the Making of the English East India Company. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2007. xxiii + 318 pp. 22 figs. $40.00. ISBN 0-226-62041-...

32 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Since the late 1990s, there has been an explosion of scholarship on South Asian legal history. This article situates the new literature within the longer tradition of postcolonial South Asian legal studies, focusing on work written by lawyers and historians. The first wave of South Asian legal studies emerged in what historians would call the long 1960s from a group of American lawyers and social scientists working on the legal profession and the experience of dispute resolution in India. The second wave, which has concentrated on the themes of gender and religion in British India, has been shaped by different influences, namely developments in the Indian women's movement and in Indian legal education during the 1980s and 1990s. The survey considers whether the new scholarship is overly focused on elites, the state, the colonial period, and English-language sources. It also identifies regional crosscutting themes that have generated research on South Asia beyond India, particularly constitutionalism, stat...

16 citations

Book ChapterDOI
14 Jun 2019
Abstract: Political struggle is enormously more complex: in a certain sense, it can be compared to colonial wars or to old wars of conquest—in which the victorious army occupies, or proposes to occupy, permanently all or part of the conquered territory. Then the defeated army is disarmed and dispersed, but the struggle continues on the terrain of politics. —Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks

9 citations