Beastly encounters of the Raj: Livelihoods, livestock and veterinary health in India, 1790-1920
Series: Studies in Imperialism MUP
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Manchester University Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2015)
This is the first full-length monograph to examine the history of colonial medicine in India from the perspective of veterinary health. The history of human health in the subcontinent has received a fair amount of attention in the last few decades, but nearly all existing texts have completely ignored the question of animal health. This book will not only fill this gap, but also provide fresh perspectives and insights that will challenge existing arguments regarding the nature of colonial medicine and public health in India.
At the same time, the book aims to provide a social history of cattle in India. Keeping the question of livestock at the centre, it explores a range of themes such as famines, agrarian relations, urbanisation, middle class attitudes, and caste formations. Such a wide-ranging approach allows it to highlight a number of issues that have remained unaddressed till now. The most striking aspect of the volume is the manner in which it connects veterinary health with the lives of the peasant household, and extends it to delineate fascinating aspects of Indian social history.
Beastly encounters of the Raj will be of interest to experts and students in the history of medicine, science and technology, imperial history, and South Asian history.