By Niraja Gopal Jayal
Citizenship and Its Discontents explores a century of contestations over citizenship from the colonial interval to the current, examining evolving conceptions of citizenship as criminal prestige, as rights, and as id
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Extra resources for Citizenship and its Discontents: An Indian History
The Bengal Presidency conducted three enquiries, in 1925–1926, into the literacy levels of the electorate, the first of which showed that 41 percent of the non-Muslim electors (to the Provincial Legislative Council) and 55 percent of the Muslim electors were illiterate (Government of India, 1928: 187). : 96). Regardless of official concern about the “poor capacity for intelligent criticism,” there would however have been a substantial overlap between this “small loquacious section of the people” (Alston, 1910: 194) and the social classes mentioned earlier.
Nationalist leaders who were also newspaper owners found themselves routinely charged with sedition21 and equally routinely adopting clever strategies to avoid attracting legal provisions. 158 Download Date | 8/25/14 12:18 PM T h e S u b j e c t- C i t i z e n 41 paper, the Amrita Bazar Patrika in Bengali, turned itself into an English paper overnight to avoid attracting the provisions of the Vernacular Press Act. Thus, notwithstanding the limited quality of de jure membership in the British Empire, and the precarious quality of de facto membership, John Morrison was surely right in claiming that the idea of citizenship was already in currency within India.
The objective of this book is not to construct a synthesis that facilitates a consensus on the meaning of citizenship, or even Indian citizenship. Its purpose is to tell a story that is historically situated and to open up a scholarly space where this larger narrative about the many contending meanings of citizenship in India, articulated in several domains simultaneously, can be the subject of a multi-dimensional conversation that engages with their inter-relationships, as different facets of a complex whole.
Citizenship and its Discontents: An Indian History by Niraja Gopal Jayal