Rachel Strohm

175 days ago

“In Dishonoured by History: ‘Criminal Tribes' and British Colonial Policy, Meena Radhakrishna presents rare scholarship on some of the worst excesses of the British Empire. The Criminal Tribes Act, 1871 was passed with intention of demarcating certain tribes in India as being "hereditary criminals". This wasn't necessarily genetic but rather occupational. The colonial interventions of the 19th century had invalidated a lot of hereditary occupations and the British were extremely aware of the dangers of the resulting mass unemployment. In their eyes, there was no other choice for these poor, wandering nomads but to take up a life of crime. What else could they do?”