The expansion of England around the globe, and particularly in India, constitutes an ‘imperial’ epoch when East and West met together. The nature of this meeting, involving millions of people completely alien to each other, over a considerable period of time, is more significant for an understanding of British imperialism and its impact than a mere historical or political account of events describing the Empire. For, after all, what imperialism really denotes is a relationship: specifically, the relationship of a ruling or controlling power to those under its dominion. The nature of such a relationship will define the peculiar imperial idea or theory which results in that relationship.1 What were the terms on which Britain met India, or for that matter Asia or Africa? What was the imperial idea which impelled the British to build an empire? Was there a viable imperial philosophy dedicated to some higher cause? Or was imperialism simply a manifestation of national ego? Was there, indeed, any substance to the imperial idea? These are the basic questions which confront a student of the intellectual content of imperialism, and these questions essentially concern the mystique of imperialism.
KeywordsMoral Evil Stereotyped Image Imperial Idea Female Infanticide Imperial Theme
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