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This book tries to capture the reconfiguration of pre-modern power structure within colonialism in the specific context of education and linguistic policies implemented by the colonial administration. The interrelationship existing between caste power and dominance and colonialism and its cultural implications have been rather an ignored subject in the postcolonial theory; analysis of the interplay between primordial power structure like caste and colonial modernity has only currently reflected in some post-colonial writings. Against this backdrop the book offers a nuanced understanding of collusive role that the indigenous elites played in working out new ways to preserve their privileges and dominance which also strengthened the hold of colonial regime without fully altering and disturbing the existing modes of dominance. The book attempts to dispel the thesis that a thorough going eradication of pre-capitalist relation is a pre-requisite to the growth and advancement of modern capitalism. The Indian case points to the contrary. The colonial state could engender its capitalist motives without substantially altering the existing feudal, hierarchical socio-economic and political arrangements. Drawing upon the theoretical framework of Marx, Gramsci, Althussar and Jotirao Phule the text attempts to delineate the relationship between language and power in colonial Western India.
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Dilip Chavan teaches English at the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies of SRTM University, Nanded (India). His areas of interest are social history of language and education, cultural history of caste and language planning in India.Review:
I have closely followed Dilip Chavan s book on language politics and education in colonial Western India for the last several years. On the strength of new archival data, the present work masterly demolishes certain stereotypes [of] British policy. The author shows how the policy was continuously dictated by upper class interest. --Joseph Bara
Dilip Chavan has evolved a theoretical framework, which has its bearing on the seminal works of Marx, Gramsci and Althusser. Interestingly, he has also attempted to define the disturbing relationship between language and caste in the light of the ideas expounded by the well-known subaltern thinker of Maharashtra, Jotiba Phule. This balancing of Western theoretical notions with their Indian counterparts has given an unusual depth to his work. --Simon Barnabas
This insightful study explores the domains of education and language pedagogy in nineteenth century Maharashtra as an instance of cultural politics that was shaped by the ideologies of empire, caste and class. The pedagogical practices of two educational institutions, the Sanskrit [School] and Elphinstone Institution, are subjected to a keen scrutiny to bring out how English education was used to maintain social inequalities rather than demolish them. --Maya Pandit
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