In this episode, Suchitra Vijayan is in conversation with Dr. Deana Heath about her book Colonial Terror.
Focusing on India between the early nineteenth century and the First World War, Colonial Terror: Torture and Violence in Colonial India explores the centrality of the torture of Indian bodies to the law-preserving violence of colonial rule and some of the ways in which extraordinary violence was embedded in the ordinary operation of colonial states. Although enacted largely by Indians on Indian bodies, particularly by subaltern members of the Police, the book argues that torture was facilitated, systematized, and ultimately sanctioned by first the East India Company and then the Raj because it benefitted the colonial regime, since rendering the Police a source of terror played a key role in the construction and maintenance of state sovereignty.
By Suchitra Vijayan
14 May 2021
Deana Heath is a Reader in Indian and Colonial History at the University of Liverpool. She writes and teaches about South Asian, imperial and colonial, and global histories as well as their post-colonial legacies.