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Mask and Masculinity of Indian Strategy

For two centuries and more the Anglo-Saxon world has convinced India that its interests are best catered to under their protective gaze. Will India be able to break out of this hegemony?

Almost one hundred years before Katharine Mayo’s Mother India began shaping American perceptions of India, a “grand romantic melodrama” called The Cataract of the Ganges!, influenced the American debate on India. The play by William T Moncrieff was “one of the hits of the 1824 New York theatre” (Rotter 1994: 518). It depicted the Indian malaise of communalism, corruption, casteism, gender discrimination and of course, the virtues of colonialism.

The drama is set against the backdrop of a battle between the Muslim emperor Akbar and the Hindu king Jam Saheb. During the war, Jam Saheb leaves his young son Zamine (Land) in the custody of an Englishman, Jack Robinson and his kingdom in the hands of a Brahmin high priest named Mokarra (scoundrel).

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