caste, colonialism, and the speech of the colonized: entextualization and disciplinary control in India



In the wake of rebellion and other crises of colonial rule in mid-19th-century India, particular varieties of oral folklore began to appear in land settlement reports, official glossaries and grammars, census reports, and reference works on caste compiled for the use of colonial officers. The heterogeneity of “tradition” and Indian speech, as well as their situated pragmatic character, were erased in these documents. Such entextualizations of the speech of the colonized, especially proverbial speech, figured in the construction of a monologic discourse about caste and caste identities, in the naturalization of revolt and other forms of noncompliance, and in the creation of the illusion that disciplinary control was carried out with the consent of the colonized. [colonialism, entextualization, linguistic ideology, caste, folklore, India]