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Colonialist Lenses On The South Indian Draupadī Cult

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Chapter Summary

The earliest available western language, or at least western sponsored or western-inspired, sources on the Draupadi cult, are instructive for the issues they raise about changing colonialist constructions of Hinduism. This chapter traces these sources through their first three phases: the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century emergence of orientalism; the early to mid-nineteenth century handling of religious policies under the Company Raj; and the treatment of caste, especially through the Census, in the mid to late nineteenth century under the crown. It focuses on a document from the end of the second, "Company Raj" phase, called "Reports on the Swinging Festival, and the Ceremony of Walking through Fire".

Keywords: colonialist constructions; Company Raj; Draupadī cult; Hinduism; orientalism; religious policies



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