Madness, Cannabis and Colonialism The 'Native Only' Lunatic Asylums of British India, 1857-1900

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2000-09-30
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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This fascinating, entertaining, and often grueling book by James Mills examines the lunatic asylums set up by the British in 19th-century India. The author asserts that there was a growth in asylums following the Indian Mutiny, fuelled by the fear of itinerant and dangerous individuals, which existed primarily in the British imagination. Once established, however, these asylums, which were staffed by Indians and populated by Indians, quickly became arenas in which the designs of the British were contested and confronted. Mills argues that power is everywhere and is behind every action; colonial power is therefore just another way to assert control over the less powerful. The social history draws on official archives and documents based in Scotland, England, and India.

Author Biography

James Mills is Lecturer in Modern History at University College Northhampton.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgements vii
List of Abbreviations
Note on Sources x
Introduction 1(13)
The Asylum Archive: the Production of Knowledge at the Colonial Asylum
`The Lunatic Asylums of India are Filled with Ganja Smokers': Asylum Knowledge as Colonial Knowledge
Disciplining Populations: British Admissions to `Native-Only' Lunatic Asylums
Disciplining Individuals: Treatment Regimes Inside `Native-Only' Lunatic Asylums
Indians into Asylums: Local Communities and the Medical Institution
Indians inside Asylums: Staff, Patients and Power
Conclusion: Knowledge, Power and Agency 177(9)
Appendix: Asylums Operating in the Period 1857--1880 186(2)
Notes 188(26)
Bibliography 214(10)
Index 224

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