Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian by Sukanya Banerjee

By Sukanya Banerjee

In this amazing account of imperial citizenship, Sukanya Banerjee investigates the ways in which Indians formulated notions of citizenship within the British Empire from the overdue 19th century throughout the early 20th. Tracing the affective, thematic, and creative tropes that underwrote Indian claims to formal equality sooner than decolonization, she emphasizes the extralegal lifetime of citizenship: the modes of self-representation it generates even earlier than it truly is codified and the political claims it triggers since it is deferred. Banerjee theorizes modes of citizenship decoupled from the rights-conferring geographical region; in so doing, she offers a brand new body for realizing the colonial topic, who's often excluded from serious discussions of citizenship.

Interpreting autobiography, fiction, election speeches, fiscal analyses, parliamentary records, and govt correspondence, Banerjee foregrounds the narrative common sense maintaining the remarkable claims to citizenship complicated by way of racialized colonial matters. She specializes in the writings of figures reminiscent of Dadabhai Naoroji, referred to as the 1st Asian to be elected to the British Parliament; Surendranath Banerjea, one of the earliest Indians admitted into the Indian Civil provider; Cornelia Sorabji, the 1st lady to review legislation in Oxford and the 1st girl attorney in India; and Mohandas okay. Gandhi, who lived in South Africa for almost twenty-one years sooner than his involvement in Indian nationalist politics. In her research of the unforeseen registers wherein they carved out a language of formal equality, Banerjee attracts generally from discussions in either late-colonial India and Victorian Britain on political economic system, indentured hard work, lady professionalism, and bureaucratic modernity. Signaling the centrality of those discussions to the formulations of citizenship, Becoming Imperial Citizens discloses a colourful transnational house of political motion and subjecthood, and it sheds new mild at the advanced mutations of the class of citizenship.

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