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Dangerous Outcast : The Prostitute in Nineteenth Century Bengal

Sumanta Banerjee

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ISBN 10: 8170461197 / ISBN 13: 9788170461197
Published by Seagull Books, 2000
Used Condition: As New Hardcover
From Vedams eBooks (P) Ltd (New Delhi, India)

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Contents: 1. Prologue. 2. Introducing Phulmoni and her sisters. 3. British 'Sahibs' and 'Native Women'. 4. White mars and black venus. 5. The 'Beshya' and the 'Babu'. 6. Voices from the pit. 7. The burden of the 'Bhadralok'. 8. Official laws versus unofficial needs. Epilogue. Notes. Select bibliography. Index. "Like other pre-colonial socio-economic formations, the profession of prostitution also underwent a dramatic change in Bengal soon after the British take-over. Dangerous Outcast explores the world of the prostitutes in 19th century Bengal. It traces how, from the peripheries of pre-colonial Bengali rural society, they came to dominate the centre-stage in Calcutta, the capital of British India--thanks to the emergence of a new clientele brought forth by the colonial order. "This work examines the policies the British administration implemented to revamp the profession to suit its needs, as well as to screen its practitioners in a bid to protect its minions in the army from venereal diseases (the harsh measures adopted for this foreshadowing the present day attempts at persecution of AIDS victims among prostitutes). It also analyses the class structure within the prostitute community in 19th century Bengal, its complex relationship with the Bengali Bhadralok society--and, what is more important and fascinating for modern researchers in popular culture--the voices of the prostitutes themselves, which we hear from their songs, letters, and writings, collected and reproduced from both oral tradition and printed sources. "This is an area which has hitherto received little serious attention from historians and scholars. It acquires relevance today in a situation where the heirs to the profession described in this book are themselves getting organized in different parts of India to seek justice and demand rights, thus reviving the old debate over legalization or prohibition of their professional work. One of the most misunderstood communities of commercial workers, they were condemned by 19th century Bengali society (and are even today relegated to the underworld), which failed to see them in a social, psychological and political context." (jacket). Bookseller Inventory # 50833

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Title: Dangerous Outcast : The Prostitute in ...

Publisher: Seagull Books

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

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