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Thugs and Bandits: Life and Law in Colonial and Epicolonial India

From: Biography
Volume 36, Number 1, Winter 2013
pp. 97-123 | 10.1353/bio.2013.0011



Scrutinizing the discourses around so-called thuggee and the Bandit Queen Phoolan Devi in colonial and postcolonial India respectively, this essay explores the uses and abuses of life narratives, as embodying discourses, in the elaboration as well as contestation of law-and-order regimes. In the context of this argument, the essay proposes epicolonialism as a neologism capable of shedding particular light on continuities as well as disjunctures between colonialism and postcolonialism.

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