This article analyses the ways that social reformers and colonial officials envisioned and attempted to manage opium dens in colonial South Asia at the end of the nineteenth century. It argues that the opium den in India became a location for moral anxieties about gender, sexuality, consumption and imperial rule, and examining colonial depictions of the den reveals the conflicts, tensions and imperatives that determined colonial opium policy. Moreover, the changes to the colonial regulation of opium dens in particular recommended by the Royal Commission on Opium of 1893 help illuminate the priorities of colonial opium policy, and by extension imperial rule.

Additional Information

Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.