The “Criminal Tribe” in India before the British

  title={The “Criminal Tribe” in India before the British},
  author={Anastasia Piliavsky},
  journal={Comparative Studies in Society and History},
  pages={323 - 354}
Abstract This paper challenges the broad consensus in current historiography that holds the Indian stereotype of criminal tribe to be a myth of colonial making. Drawing on a selection of precolonial descriptions of robber castes—ancient legal texts and folktales; Jain, Buddhist and Brahmanic narratives; Mughal sources; and Early Modern European travel accounts—I show that the idea of castes of congenital robbers was not a British import, but instead a label of much older vintage on the… 

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