Reflections on an Oriental nation | #36

When we think of Orientalism, the European conquest comes to mind, the Britishers in India and elsewhere, or be it the French or what have you. However, by detaching from the terminology for a moment, one looks at the patterns themselves, of not just the West in the East, but of anyone anywhere; this framework of expansion of the patterns of actions that are mostly accepted as reprehensible, academically or popularly, allow for a broader and much more encompassing understanding of similar reprehensible structures around the globe.

In 1853 Karl Marx wrote the piece “The British Rule in India”, a man who was fully aware of the havoc Britishers were bestowing upon the Indian subcontinent, nevertheless, he considered the British rule in India to be a boon in disguise. This is now very well known as an Orientalist text, as Marx believed that although Indian civilisation lost its backbone, its sustenance and culture, what was ultimately lost were the ancient, barbaric and unregenerate customs of India.

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