This course shows that the noxious discourse on Hindus and Hinduism which emerged through the writings of James Mill in the History of British India has a reciprocal and contextual dependence on the rise of liberal and left values in Britain, which also were inspired by his domestic and political writings.
The writings of James Mill not only disfigured the narrative on India and Hinduism but also influenced the transformation of the British culture, predominantly through the parliamentary reforms of 1832. The rise of the liberal values and culture in Britain occurred in the backdrop of the narrative that painted Hinduism and Hindus as hierarchical and oppressive. The desire for and imagination of liberal and democratic England, which began to become a reality with the advent of the 1832 parliamentary reforms, and the painting of Hindus as hierarchical and oppressive occurred in tandem and are interconnected. Though I reserve the exploration of the transformation of the Indian condition as hierarchical and oppressive post the emergence of James Mill’s History of British India in future courses, the current one will explore the aforementioned interconnection and reciprocal dependence in significant detail by examining the original writings of James Mill on India and for Britain.
In this course, the student will
- Learn about the political writings of James Mill, produced immediately after the publication of his History of British India in 1817.
- Explore the reciprocal dependence between his political writings for Britain and his narrative on India and Hinduism.
- Learn that Mill’s narrative on Hindus and Hinduism is deeply colored by his British social and religious experiences.
- Learn how the ideas of James Mill travelled through John Stuart Mill to Karl Marx.
There will be a minimum of 3 contact hours with the faculty every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion, dialogue, and debate based on the study of and reflection on study materials each week. The content discussed in each class and the discussions that follow will continue for about 180 minutes.
Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study
Faculty/Instructor: Dr. Kundan Singh
Quarter Offered: Fall 2021
Time: 02:00 pm EST – 05:00 pm EST
Start Date: October 9, 2021
End Date: December 18, 2021