ABSTRACT

This chapter presents the debate and the practical and philosophical issues at hand as a way of understanding more fundamental changes occurring in the colonial project. The chapter begins with an account of the criminal tribes policy's development, emerging from separate legislative proposals, thence into a draft Bill that was then significantly amended and expanded in scope at select committee stage. The passage of the Bill into legislation on 12th October 1871 marked the beginning of a number of significant trends in colonial governance. The chapter examines the competing liberal ideals underpinning these differing and in many respects incommensurable visions of colonial governance. The Indian Penal Code was imagined as a modern code for a maturing society. The Bill fell into the parts, which dealing with proposed registration of criminal tribes in the northern periphery states of Punjab, North Western Provinces (NWP) and Oudh, while the other was concerned with registration and control of eunuch sects in the NWP.