The View from Below: Indigenous Society, Temples, and the Early Colonial State in Tamilnadu, 1700-1835
How did the British colonial administration view the Tamil natives? How did the natives, in turn, view the colonial power brokers? Underscoring a transactional rather than one-way reality of colonial politics, The View from Below is a balancing act of scholarship. Kanakalatha Mukund considers the 'attitudes' and 'responses' as dialogic, whereby the colonial state and indigenous society are locked in a fierce but subtle combat for attention and dominance in the Madras region. The Tamil institution upon which Mukund focuses her study for the most part is the temple. Moving further on from this politically crucial and socially focal site, the study covers a number of other related phenomena: the staging of sectarian and caste conflicts aimed to seize the control of the temples; the new social leadership and patterns of patronage; the construction of identity by aspiring elite groups of both parties; and the folk representations of Poligar rebellions. This book will be useful to historians, anthropologists and specialists on South India, and those interested in the history of Madras.
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