In this episode, historian Dr. Jessica Hinchy talks to us about the colonial ‘panic’ surrounding the hijra community in the 19th century, the circumstances leading to their criminalisation, and the ways in which family became the focus of surveillance under the 1871 Criminal Tribes Act.
‘In Perspective’ is The Swaddle’s podcast series where academics reveal little-known facts about Indian history, society and culture.
00:00:52:11- What were the factors that led to a colonial ‘panic’ surrounding the hijra community in the 19th century?
00:17:14:05- In the context of the 1871 Criminal Tribes Act, how did state policy seek to eliminate the hijra community altogether?
00:27:15:20- In what ways did the hijra community undermine this colonial legislation and policing?
00:36:29:12- How did some biographies and autobiographies of hijras challenge the colonial understanding of the hijra community?
00:46:47:17- How did the family unit emerge as the central target of surveillance under the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871? How did this understanding impact middle-class Indian gender and caste politics?
00:58:20:23- What matchmaking campaign did the colonial state launch in north India in 1891? What role did their concern with marriage practices and conjugality play in shaping the attitudes towards criminal tribes?