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Chapter Summary

James Tod’s image of the Rājpūts, immersed in the power and then legitimated by the authority of the imperial state, took on the status of dominant knowledge both in Europe and in India. This chapter examines the mechanisms that reiterated and reproduced this knowledge in India, from the middle of the nineteenth century and throughout the nationalist period. The Rājpūt narrative in Tod reflected the imperatives of empire and nineteenth century Romanticism and racial/linguistic theory. The use of the Annals as a textbook for Indian students marked one of the clearest ways it came to predominate over the image and history of the Rājpūts that were presented to Indians themselves. Episodes and images from Rājpūt history, and the direct movements of information from Tod into Indian nationalist historiography are important examples of Tod’s impact on the development of Indian historiography and political consciousness.

Keywords: Annals; Indian historiography; James Tod; Rājpūt; Romanticism



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