By A. Vaidik
This book traverses the Indian Ocean within the interval while the British held sway over the key oceanic waters of the realm. In reviving the historical past of the Andamans as a big imperial prize, it bargains a clean standpoint at the heritage of British colonialism, nationalism and the construction of recent India from its geographic outer edge.
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Additional resources for Imperial Andamans: Colonial Encounter and Island History
100 Impelled by fears of cannibalism within European society, Europeans began to project these fears onto nonEuropean societies in an attempt to distance themselves from them. With time, cannibalistic imageries began to appear in European literature. Caliban in Shakespeare’s Tempest and Friday in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe provided sustenance for the discourse and added new nuances to it. Cannibalism as it appeared in literary works was no longer merely associated with the consumption of human flesh.
108 In the years to come, the Islands amongst other things would become an anthropological laboratory with the aboriginal Andamanese serving as the guinea pigs. Narrativizing conquest Was the colonization of the Andamans an inevitable outcome of the Islands being imagined as wild? To what degree did the wild imagery play a causative role in the colonization of the Andamans? The imagining of the Islands as a wild space was of little consequence for the actual plan of colonization which, as Chapter 2 will demonstrate, had its roots in the British desire for control over the Bay of Bengal.
In one of those isles are many manners of folk of divers, there is a race of great stature, like giants, foul and horrible to look at; they have one eye only, in the middle of their foreheads. 23 These tales of adventure narrated by the odd traveller, shipwrecked sailor and explorer merely paraphrased the versions of the previous travellers and writers and reconfirmed the descriptions of natives as cannibals. 24 The history of this book’s cover image is a brilliant illustration of the nature of European engagement with the non-European world.
Imperial Andamans: Colonial Encounter and Island History by A. Vaidik