University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

Creating the ‘Problem Hindu’: Sati, Thuggee and Female Infanticide in India, 1800–60

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-510
JournalGender & History
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2013


The practices of sati (‘widow‐burning’), thuggee (the supposed ‘strangler cult’) and female infanticide were frequently used by western commentators during the early and mid‐nineteenth century as convenient shorthand for demonstrating the supposed ‘backwardness’ of Indian culture and society. Generating voluminous records and considerable anxiety among British people, both at home and abroad, these three subjects have generally been examined separately by scholars. This article suggests that, by considering these issues together as part of a continuum of ‘Hindu crimes’ in the British imagination, it is possible to gain a deeper understanding of both gender and religion in colonial India.

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