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States of EmergencyColonialism, Literature and Law$
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Stephen Morton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318498

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318498.001.0001

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Terrorism, Literature and Sedition in Colonial India

Terrorism, Literature and Sedition in Colonial India

(p.61) Chapter 2 Terrorism, Literature and Sedition in Colonial India
States of Emergency

Stephen Morton

Liverpool University Press

Chapter two considers the ways in which acts of sedition and revolutionary terrorism in British colonial India were invoked by the British authorities to justify emergency measures in the Indian Penal Code. By tracing the state of emergency that India’s revolutionary terrorists were deemed to have created in the colonial imagination, the chapter assesses the extent to which Anglo-Indian fictions of terrorism and sedition, such as Edmund Candler’s Siri Ram Revolutionist (1912) reveal the violent foundations that underpin the liberal rhetoric of the civilising mission in British India. The Anglo-Indian characters in British literary representations of counterinsurgency often claim to demystify the psychological and social causes of revolutionary terrorism in colonial Bengal. However, enigmatic revolutionary figures such as the Doctor in Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s novel Pather Dabi (1926) constantly elude the gaze of the colonial authorities, providing a literary inspiration for subsequent revolutionaries and showing how sedition is a crucial rhetorical and political strategy in the struggle against colonialism and the permanent state of emergency underpinning it.

Keywords:   India, Bengal, sedition law--Indian penal code, Edmund Candler, Sarat Chandler Chatterjee

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