McMurdo’s Account of Sind: Oxford in Asia Historical Reprints


This book provides readers with a vivid picture of how South Asians were perceived by many in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century, as well as of life in Sindh under the Amirs, rulers of the region at that time. James McMurdo’s description of Sindh and its inhabitants indicates the bias and
prejudice of an imperialist viewpoint and the political ramifications of such perceptions.

Author: James McMurdo, Sarah Ansari
ISBN: 9780195472882
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 104
Published Year: 2007
Language: English

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Reading McMurdo’s words today, 150 years later, when much of the world’s attention is once more focused on what were once the North-Western borders of Britain’s South Asian empire, the book achieves a new
relevance and may cause readers to ponder on the objectivity of the knowledge that underpins current policy making in relation to present day Afghanistan and its neighbors. When Charles Napier conquered Sindh in 1843, a section of British public opinion became critical of the resultant increase in
military expenditure, and some voiced consternation over the harsh terms imposed on the amirs. The British government reacted by launching an adverse propaganda campaign aimed at depicting the amirs as being incapable and unworthy of looking after their own territories.

McMurdo’s Account of Sind served to reinforce contemporary, negative stereotypes of Sindh’s population in Britain, and thus fitted comfortably into the broad political canvas of its time. It also ‘set the scene’ and prepared the ground for the eventual conquest of Sindh.

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Weight 0.27 kg
Dimensions 22.6 × 14.5 × 1.2 cm