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Wicked City : Crime and Punishment in Colonial Calcutta

Sumanta Banerjee

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ISBN 10: 8125037497 / ISBN 13: 9788125037491
Published by Orient Blackswan, 2009
Used Condition: As New Hardcover
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Contents Preface. Introduction. I. Hatching the plot exploring the social history of crime 1. The trailblazers. 2. Calcutta's white underworld. 3. Journeys through the lower depths. 4. Killers violent and silent. 5. House breakers thieves and pilferers. 6. Swindlers and forgers. 7. Embezzlers and gamblers. 8. Smugglers drug pushers and poisoners. 9. Underworld heroines and their children. 10. The contest over public space. II. Smashing the plot punishing disciplining and ordering 1. The beginnings. 2. Rise and growth of the police. 3. Subalterns of the Calcutta police. 4. Arrival of the Bengali Sleuth. 5. The web of criminal prosecution. 6. Jail the meeting ground of criminology and penology. Concluding reflections. Select Bibliography. Index. From dusty official files to the half forgotten popular literature of a dark past The Wicked City unravels a fascinating panorama of crime in the colonial metropolis of Calcutta over two centuries. It begins in the eighteenth century with the plots of bribery and murderous vendetta hatched in Governor Warren Hastings office in the White Town the tiny European part of the city. The story then moves into the dingy back streets of the Black Town the vast sprawling Bengali habitation and offers a glimpse into the world of indigenous dacoits. As the eighteenth century flickers out a new century sees the dawn of new types of crimes like counterfeiting even as the technology used in old forms of crime like burglary becomes increasingly more sophisticated. In this onward march of crime in the course of Calcutta's rise from fledgling town to giant metropolis a procession of colourful characters emerged and thrived in all their diabolic grandeur. With all their imagination and creative devices they elevated crime to the status of art. After immersing itself in the world of criminals the book shifts its gaze towards the apparatus built by the colonial rulers to deal with them. In doing so what clearly emerges is the symbiotic relationship between urban crimes spawned by the colonial ethic of acquisitiveness and aggressive pursuit of self interest and the new laws and modes of punishment fashioned by the colonial rulers to control those crimes. 644 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 74806

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Title: Wicked City : Crime and Punishment in ...

Publisher: Orient Blackswan

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

About this title

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This unravels a fascinating panorama of crime in the colonial metropolis of Calcutta over two centuries. It begins in the eighteenth century with the plots of bribery and murderous vendetta hatched in Governor Warren Hastings office in the White Town-the tiny European part of the city. The story then moves into the dingy back streets of Black Town-the vast, sprawling Bengali habitation, etc..

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