ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Media Moloch Blight of Doublespeak

reproduces a portrait of maharaja Dalip Singh in magnificent colour.) Countless times before the history of British India has been reduced toa history of few 'great men ', and this rather impoverished approach dominates The Raj. Even in this respect, the selection is partial, for we hear a great deal more about Hastings, Clive, Tipu Sultan, Ranjtt Singh, and other Indian princes than we do about the later Indian nationalists in the 20th century. The foreword by Haynes had promised that the exhibition (and catalogue) would endeavour "to see the British from the Indian point of view" [p 8]. Not only is this promise not kept, but the very opposite transpires: Indians are for the most part written out of history. The Raj is like the architectural photography in the 1860s of David Lyon, of whom Bayly says that "he stationed Indian employees our of sight but holding reflectors, in order to light the long corridors found'in some southern Indian temples" [p 272; emphasis added]. That is all that Indians are really good for in Bayly'svolume: for holdingthelights which would illuminate the greatness of the raj, into truth. The salient trait of doublespeak is the ability to lie, consciously or unconsciously, and to get away with it; it involves the grand scale technology of the superlic, and the masterly capacity to choose and select facts that meets the political imperatives of imperialism.

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