Author: Channa Wickremesekera
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8173044260
This book explores the role played by the British perceptions on Indian culture and Indian soldiers in the formation of English East India Company’s sepoy army in the second half of the eighteenth century.
The eighteenth century was a time when British were just beginning to find their way in the
cultural landscape of India. The early Orientalists were the pioneers who mapped out this landscape, the knowledge generated by them represented India as not only different but also inferior to the West. This perception of Indian inferiority extended to the military sphere as well. The inability of vast, yet undisciplined Indian armies to stand up to miniscule forces of drilled European infantry and field artillery convinced many in the British camp of an invincible timidity in India soldiers.
It examines the influence of British perceptions on the sepoy’s place from the barrack room to the battlefield, demonstrating that prejudice was a cornerstone in the making of the Company’s India army.