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A Princely Imposter? The Kumar of Bhawal & the Secret History of Indian Nationalism
A Princely Imposter? The Kumar of Bhawal & the Secret History of Indian Nationalism

A Princely Imposter? The Kumar of Bhawal & the Secret History of Indian Nationalism

by Partha Chatterjee

Your Price: $47.75
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Product ID:9493

Language

English

Publisher

Permanent Black

ISBN

8178240416 - Year: 2002 - Pages: 429

Binding

Hardcover

Partha Chatterjee

Author: Partha Chatterjee
Publisher: Permanent Black
Year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 429
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8178240416

Description

An accessible and fascinating story, this is one of the most riveting books of history ever written in the Indian subcontinent. The book tells the incredible story of the prince as pauper, of pauper as resurrected prince. Partha Chatterjee's retelling of the notoriously famous 'Bhawal Sannyasi Case' - one of India's best-known and most historic legal battles - is narrative history of the finest kind. It is replete with dramatic incident, sexual debauchery, family violence, and political intrigue. It is an epic story of war within a household which spills out into the social life of colonial Bengal; and beyond, into the administrative and legal fabric of India during the heyday of nationalism; and then beyond that again, into spirituality and philosophy, legend and folklore, theatre and cinema.

In 1921, a half-naked, ash-smeared sannyasi appears in Dhaka and is identified as an affluent, hunting-shooting-womanizing zamindar - the Second Kumar of Bhawal - who was meant to have died in Darjeeling twelve years earlier., This fakir is persuaded to visit his state, where he is interrogated by friends, relatives, and some of his subjects who have known him in his earlier incarnation. He is disowned as an imposter by his 'widow', but his sisters swear he is their long-lost brother.

Now begins a court case, in which the sannyasi seeks to prove his identity and his rights, while others seek to disprove and destroy all his claims. Very soon, the whole countryside, and in fact much of British India, is divided on the identity of the Sannyasi, and indeed on what constitutes identity - especially in the extraordinary situation of a man who has returned from the dead to reclaim his property and status.

COMMENT:

This extraordinary book represents an immensely valuable addition to the literature on South Asia. It will have great influence both within and outside of the academy and will soon be regarded as a classic.
AMITA GHOSH

Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
List of Abbreviations

CHAPTER ONE
The Facts of the Matter

CHAPTER TWO
An Estate Called Bhawal

CHAPTER THREE
On Hunting and Other Sports

CHAPTER FOUR
What happened in Darjeeling?

CHAPTER FIVE
First Brush with the Law

CHAPER SIX
The House on Lansdowne Road

CHAPTER SEVEN
A Fondness for Miracles

CHAPER EIGHT
The Identity Puzzle

CHAPTER NINE
The Trial Begins

CHAPTER TEN
Darjeeling: The Plaintiff's Case

CHAPTER ELEVEN
Experts on Recognition

CHAPTER TWELVE
For the Defense

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
The Climax

CHAPTER FOURTEEN
Reasoning

CHAPTER FIFTEEN
The Judgment

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
The Appeal

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
Razor's Edge

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
The Decision

CHAPTER NINETEEN
To London and Back

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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