Between Rebellion and Resistance: A Study of Select Andaman Penal Narratives

Parida, Ananya (2018) Between Rebellion and Resistance: A Study of Select Andaman Penal Narratives. PhD thesis.

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The 1857 Rebellion has been an unforgettable episode in Indian history and has been a well-documented subject in Indian Archives. Most accounts of the Rebellion—published in volumes of anthologies—hardly follow its aftermath and the way convicts were deported to offshore prisons. Following the Mutiny, the Government sought to transport ‘rebel convicts’ to stabilize the Empire. The Andaman Islands was inspected and subsequently a penal settlement in the Andamans started operating. Starting 1858 till 1942 (Japanese occupation of the islands), the Empire negotiated with approximately 13,000 Indian convicts to form an elaborate convict society in the penal settlement. The incarceration of political prisoners starting 1909 changed the history of the settlement and the Andamans, as a penal settlement, is gradually nationalized as part of Indian freedom struggle.
Divided into six chapters, the thesis suggests that (auto)biographical narratives of the prisoners incarcerated in the Andaman jails are crucial sites that contest and invert colonial and national historiography and nativize the Andamans to a significant extent. The thesis reads colonial documents and (auto)biographical narratives of select political prisoners to locate a narrative history of the penal settlement. How do (auto)biographical narratives correspond, negotiate, contest and invert colonial history? How do these narratives present the corresponding period of incarceration and put forward a political current of the contemporary period? The thesis maps penal historicity and locates the genesis of an alternative national consciousness in Andaman penal texts in the form of a strong resistance movement. In addition, it argues that the penal narratives under study generate an elaborate national consciousness to invert contemporary Gandhian nationalist discourse. Part-archival and part-literary, the study explores and interprets colonial documents alongside native (auto)biographical texts for a comparative analysis of native and imperial views on the penal culture.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:(Auto)biography; Penal culture; 1857 Archives; Cellular Jail; Andamans; Colonialism.
Subjects:Humanities & Social Sciences > Tribal Studies
Humanities & Social Sciences > Sociology of Communication
Divisions: Social Sciences > Department of Humanities & Social Sciences
ID Code:9795
Deposited By:IR Staff BPCL
Deposited On:25 Jan 2019 17:36
Last Modified:25 Jan 2019 17:36
Supervisor(s):Rath, Akshaya K.

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