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State and Criminal Tribes in Colonial Punjab: Surveillance, Control and Reclamation of the ‘Dangerous Classes’

  • Andrew J. Major (a1)
    • Published online: 01 July 1999

It is not always remembered that under British rule some 150,000 Punjabis were notified under the Criminal Tribes Act as belonging to tribes and castes whose hereditary occupation was deemed to be crime. More than any other class these criminal tribes felt the harsh impact of the colonial state, which sought to control, punish and reform them. This paper traces the evolution of a Punjab criminal tribes policy and argues that the British—assisted by the indigenous elite—achieved only partial success in assimilating these people into the wider community by 1947.

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Modern Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0026-749X
  • EISSN: 1469-8099
  • URL: /core/journals/modern-asian-studies
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