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Introduction

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Abstract

The book wishes to re-examine an important issue regarding the relationship between the colonized and the colonizers in the contemporary world. On this subject, researchers have provided two types of answers. For some like Dirks, the British have totally constructed the caste-based representation of Indian society, while for others the dominated have actually played a fundamental role in this construction. This study intends to demonstrate that other answers have been given to this question, using Sindh as a case study. This province of British India had the peculiarity of being 70% Muslim and 25% Hindu. This distribution between Hindus and Muslims is a proportion that is not found elsewhere, because either Muslims and Hindus were largely dominant, for example, in South or North India, or both groups were broadly balanced, such as in Punjab or Bengal. Why and how did the British play a key role in the establishment of a vernacular literature? What was the trajectory that led them to be involuntarily at the origin of the creation of the Sufi paradigm, through the publication of a reference text? Other main issues to be addressed are: what were the processes through which, in a second phase, the new Sindhi elite from the British schools were able to appropriate and develop the Sufi paradigm? And finally, what were the conditions that allow them to enlarge the paradigm at a point that all devotional traditions in the vernacular will be able to participate and strengthen it?

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for South Asian StudiesSchool for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS)/National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)ParisFrance

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