Colonial Justice in British India: White Violence and the Rule of Law

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Colonial Justice in British India describes and examines the lesser-known history of white violence in colonial India. By foregrounding crimes committed by a mostly forgotten cast of European characters - planters, paupers, soldiers and sailors - Elizabeth Kolsky argues that violence was not an exceptional but an ordinary part of British rule in the subcontinent. Despite the pledge of equality, colonial legislation and the practices of white judges, juries and police placed most Europeans above the law, literally allowing them to get away with murder. The failure to control these unruly whites revealed how the weight of race and the imperatives of command imbalanced the scales of colonial justice. In a powerful account of this period, Kolsky reveals a new perspective on the British Empire in India, highlighting the disquieting violence that invariably accompanied imperial forms of power.