The Culture And Tradition Of The French Revolution Essay

1292 Words Dec 12th, 2016 6 Pages
The articulations of custom, tradition and culture have been posited against discourses of rights in terms of British Colonial rule in India. These distinctions emerged alongside the British ‘civilizing mission’ in which the question of rights came to the forefront of the discourse and were matched with the invention of culture. Edmond Burke’s analysis of rights in the context of the French revolution reveals that natural rights are inherited and passed down from generation to generation, as they are forms of tradition. In contrast the colonial project in India rejected Burke’s organic view of rights and society and instead invented, preserved and gendered aspects of tradition. This resulted in the standardization of culture and tradition, which is more representative of Jeremy Bentham’s analysis of natural rights, in which he claims that natural rights are an effect of governments and a systematized law is what governs bodies. Thus, through the colonial ‘civilizing mission ,’ the performativity of benevolence emerged. This is evident in the question of women’s rights, especially surrounding the notion of Agency within the debates on Sati, in which aspects of culture and tradition were essentially invented, preserved and gendered to support the civilizing of a backwards Indian culture. Thomas Metcalf outlines this in stating that the debate on sati was used as way in which the British could distinguish themselves from Indians further perpetuating the idea of the ‘White…

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