chapter  3
6 Pages

Post-1858 Era

Consideration of caste as equivalent to race, it seems, paved the way for anthropology to be the 'principal colonial modality of knowledge and rule' after 1857, and from 1870, it became the primary object of social classification and understanding. It increasingly became the focus of anthropological inquiry. Commitment of the British authorities to the ethos of 'race science' as the appropriate 'modality of knowledge' of Indian society, it seems, deeply affected the mind-set of natives one way or the other. Caste sabhas began to be organized by different caste groups since 1887 for formulating and promoting their respective caste interests. The census data were used for preparing district gazetteers and studies on tribes and castes. Evolutionary approach was the leading influence on ethno-graphic studies and census operations in India, which, of course, implied Western or colonizers' civilizational superiority.