Mobility, control and criminality in early colonial India, 1760s–1850s

Nitin Sinha
  • The Indian Economic & Social History Review, January 2008, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/001946460704500101

crime in colonial india

What is it about?

this article is on the history of crime in colonial India. It argues that for the colonial state it was important to put a check on the mobility of certain groups who were seen dangerous. This curb on mobility was closely associated to how crime was defined.

Why is it important?

This article is significant on two respects: first, usually it is argued that once groups were identified as 'criminals' then their mobility was curtailed. My article suggests that perceptions of mobility were integral to the ways criminality was defined. Second, most of the existing studies on crime and criminality in India focus on the late 19th century; my article, on the other hand, goes back to the late eighteenth century with some glances even further back to Mughal times.

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