Modernity of Slavery: Struggles against Caste Inequality in Colonial Kerala

Hardcover | August 23, 2015

byP. Sanal Mohan

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Modernity of Slavery tells the story of Cherumas, Kuravas, Parayas, Pulayas, and Thanda Pulayas - the slave castes of nineteenth-century Kerala - and their tryst with Christianity. These castes comprised nearly one-sixth of the population and were "owned" by upper castes, princely states, andeven Europeans.In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when European missionaries began working among the slave castes, thousands joined the Church. Their generational experiences, struggles, and memories shaped their collective self, and deeply impacted the emergence of Dalit consciousness in Kerala.This book presents and analyses the imaginations and articulations of the notion(s) of equality in the context of caste slavery, missionary activity, and socio-political transition in pre-colonial and modern Kerala.Centering the questions of consciousness and interiority, this book challenges the stereotypes of historical writing on Dalits and Christianity. It highlights everyday experiences, such as break-up of families, torture, sufferings, and re-memorialization of these experiences by contemporarygenerations, and weaves in narratives of specific instances, events, and personalities. Offering nuanced and unprecedented use of fresh archival sources and historical ethnography, this book will be a tour de force for anyone interested in the journeys of Dalit consciousness, Christianity, andreligious movements in India.

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Modernity of Slavery tells the story of Cherumas, Kuravas, Parayas, Pulayas, and Thanda Pulayas - the slave castes of nineteenth-century Kerala - and their tryst with Christianity. These castes comprised nearly one-sixth of the population and were "owned" by upper castes, princely states, andeven Europeans.In the nineteenth and twentie...

P. Sanal Mohan teaches at the School of Social Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India. His areas of research interest include colonial modernity, social movements and questions of identity, Dalit movements and Christianity in India.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pagesPublished:August 23, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198099762

ISBN - 13:9780198099765

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Table of Contents

List of AbbreviationsPrefaceAcknowledgementsIntroduction1. Colonial Transformations: Situating the Experience of Slave Castes in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century Kerala2. Discourses and Constructions of Slavery in Nineteenth-and Twentieth-century Kerala3. Discourses on Struggles against Inequalities: Dalit Movements in the Early Twentieth-century4. Prathyaksha Raksha Daiva Sabha and the Imagining of Equality in Twentieth-century Kerala5. Memory and Experience: Discourses of Slavery6. Discourses of History and the Making of CommunityGlossaryBibliographyIndexAbout the Author