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Idolatry and the Colonial Idea of India: Visions of Horror, Allegories of Enlightenment

VISIONS OF HORROR, ALLEGORIES OF ENLIGHTENMENT

1 March 2018

Swagato Ganguly

Swagato Ganguly reveals the extent to which British colonial antipathy towards idolatry—in their eyes, a superstitious and inferior form of worship—constructed European conceptions of India and legitimised colonial rule in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. According to Ganguly, depictions of idol worshippers as irrational people given to social disorder began to converge into a set of stereotypes about India in the works of European writers such as William Jones and Max Müller.

Routledge India, 208 pages, Rs 795

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