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Download Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka, and the Bounds of an Indian by Sujit Sivasundaram PDF

By Sujit Sivasundaram

How did the British come to beat South Asia within the overdue eighteenth and early 19th centuries? solutions to this query frequently begin in northern India, neglecting the dramatic occasions that marked Britain’s contemporaneous subjugation of the island of Sri Lanka. In Islanded, Sujit Sivasundaram reconsiders the coming of British rule in South Asia as a dynamic and unfinished means of territorialization and nation development, revealing that the British colonial venture was once framed by way of the island’s traditions and maritime placement and in-built half at the version they provided.
Using palm-leaf manuscripts from Sri Lanka to learn the respectable colonial archive, Sivasundaram tells the tale of 2 units of islanders in wrestle and collaboration. He explores how the British geared up the method of “islanding”: they aimed to create a separable unit of colonial governance and alternate based on conceptions of ethnology, tradition, and geography. yet instead of serving as an intensive rupture, he finds, islanding recycled traditions the British realized from Kandy, a country within the Sri Lankan highlands whose customs—from thoughts of struggle to perspectives of nature—fascinated the British. identifying up more than a few strange topics, from migration, orientalism, and ethnography to botany, drugs, and schooling, Islanded is an attractive retelling of the arrival of British rule.

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Additional resources for Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka, and the Bounds of an Indian Ocean Colony

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Bang on time at the end of the next century, in 1799, a monk journeyed to Burma with five novices to gain higher ordination there, this time to the British territories on the coast. 18 Religious reformation also underpinned Kandy’s connections with Siam. There were two failed attempts to reformulate the island’s Buddhist sangha by contact with Siam during the reign of Sri Viyaja Rajasimha (r. 1739–47); these were followed by two successful attempts in the reign of his successor Kirti Sri Rajasimha (r.

Medical practice was pivotal to the making of the island state. The British saw diseases such as smallpox and cholera as having a maritime history, and the carriers of disease were said to be migrants. Often “Malabars” and Muslims, and merchant families and wandering holy men, were suspects in the hunt for the sources of disease. This tracing of disease pathways set the context for discourses of class and race. Measures of surveillance were not only directed outward to arrivals from India and elsewhere, but also inward, most visibly in the layout of the capital of Colombo.

1739–47); these were followed by two successful attempts in the reign of his successor Kirti Sri Rajasimha (r. 1747–82). Twenty-five monks from 14. ’ 15. W. , Culavamsa, Being the Most Recent Part of the Mahavamsa, 2:76, line 56. 16. ” 17. For the passage of monks back and forth, see Malalgoda, Buddhism in Sinhalese Society, 1750–1900: A Study of Religious Revival and Change, 56–57, 97–98. 18. For the argument about successful importation, see Anne M. 20 The Narendra Caritavalokana Pradipikava, a historical chronicle on palm leaf, which was allegedly written at the invitation of Governor Edward Barnes, nineteen years after the fall of Kandy, notes the following about how Kirti Sri established and then celebrated the reintroduction of higher ordination from Siam: As there was not a single monk with higher ordination in Lanka, the king knowing that the Sasana was on the path of decline, having decided “I must support the sublime and wonderful Buddha Sasana,” having prepared a great deal of royal gifts and objects as offerings, having treated well the Sinhala Ministers and the Dutch ministers, handed over the gifts and royal messages to them, and sent them away to Siam by ship.

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