Author: Susanne Hoeber Rudolph
Lloyd I Rudolph/
Editor: Susanne Hoeber Rudolph
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195658698
These selections from the years 1898 to 1905 are the work of the young Amar Singh. He records his sense of discovery and surprise at diverse sites – the Jodhpur court, the women’s quarters of the Jaipur haveli, Lord Curzon’s Imperial Cadet Corps.
Amar Singh reverses the gaze. A colonial subject contemplates an imperial other. He begins
writing at twenty, producing over forty-four years what may be one of the world’s longest continuous diaries. These selections from the years 1898 to 1905 are the work of the young Amar Singh. He records his sense of discovery and surprise at diverse sites – the Jodhpur court, the women’s quarters of the Jaipur haveli, Lord Curzon’s Imperial Cadet Corps.
In daily negotiations with his British and Rajput counter-players, he constructs a hybrid self, a Rajput nobleman and an Edwardian officer and gentleman. The British appear sometimes as peers and friends, sometimes as racist masters. Through daily entries, the reader experiences the immediacy of Amar Singh’s subjectivity. Threatened by the boredom of princely state and raj philistinism, Amar Singh writes to ‘keep myself amused’. His diary becomes an alter ego. He writes about culture in the making as well as in the doing. In an era that seems more comfortable with the subjective truths of agency and voice than with the objective truths of structural determination or formal analysis, Amar Singh’s reflexive narrative offers an open-ended, constructivist narrative of history and self.
‘The book. . . .(is) a wide, scholarly, interdisciplinary text representing trends of history, anthropology, sociology, and psychology.
—The Book Review
.. . The meticulously maintained diaries of Bhanwar Amar Singh of Kanota. . . . Acquire monumental importance.
…this book will be an important addition to the literature in the field.
—Indian Review of Books
List of Illustrations
Selections from Amar Singh’s Reading
Provenance: Making a Self at the Jodhpur Court
Liminality: Making a Self Between Two Cultures
How we encountered The Diary
Reconstructing the Text
An Indian Diary in English?
Reversing the Gaze: The Diarist as reflexive "Native" Ethnographer
1. About the Diary
2. Education of a Diarist
5. The Apprentice
6. Manners and Mores
7. A Mania for Polo
8. Blood and Other Sports
9. My family
THE JODHPUR LANCERS IN CHINA: IMPERIAL SOLDIERS OR COOLIES OF THE RAJ?
1. Getting There: With the Allied Expeditionary Force to China
2. Tensions in the China Garrison
3. Under Fire at Lijapoo
4. Thinking it over: "Tried Warrior" or "Coolie of the Raj"?
TRANSGRESSION AND RECONCILIATION: BECOMING A HOUSEHOLDER
1. An Uncommon Wedding
2. Becoming a Householder
SOLDIER FOR THE RAJ? ACCOMMODATION AND RESISTANCE AT THE IMPERIAL CADET CORPS
1. "An Example for others": First Term in the Imperial Cadet Corps
2. "The Results of Sodomy": Second Term in the Imperial Cadet Corps
3. "Too Proud and Haughty?" Third Term in the Imperial Cadet Corps
4. "To Command Europeans?" Fifth Term at the Imperial Cadet Corps
5. "The Big Swells Were Gone": Sixth Term at the Imperial Cadet Corps
6. "Good-Bye, My Dear Corps": Seventh Term at the Imperial Cadet Corps
PRIVATE LIVES IN PATRIARCHAL SPACE: AMAR SINGH AT HOME IN PRINCELY INDIA
1. Diplomacy of Everyday life: "This Damned Etiquette"
2. Lectures to the Maharaja or Kishengarh: "How to promote love" and "The
Abuses of Youth"
3. Women at Home: "What real difficulties there are in a Rajput Family life"
4. Joint Family Responsibilities: "My one aid is to secure peace at Home"
5. Men in the World: Estate Management, Horses and Books
6. Harmony and Dissidence in the Joint Family: "Show Sympathy and you will earn confidence"
PRINCELY COURTS IN IMPERIAL SPACE
1. Court society at Jodhpur: The Struggle for the Maharaja’s Person
2. Court society at Kishengarh and Idar: Replicating Marks of sovereignty
3. H H Kishengarh marries at Udaipur: The Ceremonial Enactment of inferiority
4. Imperial Ritual at Alwar: Lord Curzon invests Jai Singh with Full Powers
5. Paramountcy and corruption: Talks with political officers
Index of Subjects and Concepts