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Title: Secularism contested : Indian muslims and colonial governmentality, c. 1830-1910
Author: Ivermee, Robert
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2013
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In the early nineteenth century, European officials in India determined that the education offered in state schools and colleges would be exclusively secular: no religious teaching would be imparted in colonial educational institutions. This thesis enquires into the impact of the religious-secular distinction in Indian education from this date. After revisiting the origins of the government's commitment to secular education, it focuses upon the engagement of Indian Muslims with the colonial state, discerning how far Muslim parties opposed the separation of religion from education. The argument is advanced that concerns for the provision of religious education in the colonial system of public instruction played a critical role in the development of Muslim public activity, and of understandings of Muslim community, under British rule. Across the breadth of northern India, in Bengal, the North-Western Provinces and the Punjab, Muslim parties contested the divorce of religion from education, challenging the colonial government to respond to the requirements of their religious constituency. I employ the Foucauldian concept of governmentality which enhances our understanding of how the British government of India introduced a multiplicity of practices, including colonial public instruction, to regulate conduct and fashion subjectivities among Indian subjects. Building upon existing studies of the Anglo-Indian state as a governmentalised entity, the thesis then explores Indian Muslim negotiations of colonial educational provisions through which aspects of colonial governmentality were revised. The evolving institutions of civil society provided a location for Muslim parties to formulate public opinion and negotiate with government. With the growing support of European officials and educationalists, Muslim individuals and associations challenged the exclusion of religious teaching from government institutions and asserted the importance both of religious community and faith in Indian public spheres. The colonial separation of state. from religion was contested by Muslim parties interrogating nineteenth century meanings of the concept of secularism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available