The Transmission of Colonial Knowledge



The third chapter continues to study the makings of colonial knowledge by focusing on the transmission of colonial knowledge, as well as by investigating how Sufism is placed in it, or not. It argues that the British used their knowledge of other parts of India and imposed those frames on Sindh, such as the Brahmanical caste system. The transmission of colonial knowledge was diffused through various means: education, official reports compiled by the British officers, and commercial and independent publications. In the first phase, there was no real policy in terms of education. The Christian religious organizations were the first to open schools. The most active was the Church Missionary Society (CMS). It was only in the 1870s that the British government, in this case, the Sindh Commissioner, began to take charge of publications. The implementation of the censuses from the 1870s onward was a turning point in the colonial knowledge of India. The gazetteer was supposed to summarize the British colonial worldview of Sindh and thus, it was an essential tool for the colonizers. Over the years, the structure of the gazetteer did follow the evolution of the nascent social sciences, including anthropology. Here again, the chapter uses untapped sources, such as “private” reports of the Commissioner, and reports published by the CMS that have never been used before.


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© 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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