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According to Wikipedia, the word Thuggee derives from the Hindi word thag meaning thief.
10) Furthermore, Sleeman's carefully-phrased exhortation constitutes a coded demand that the government should provide its officials with material and human resources to pursue the campaign; and enact changes to the existing laws to produce a 'greater dread of immediate punishment' by making convictions for thuggee easier to obtain.
By the 1840s, thuggee had been suppressed in India under the aegis of Major William Henry Sleeman, 'hero of the Raj' under whom some 3,000 Thugs were captured.
Gresh and Weinberg have written several books about popular film, and while their enthusiasm for these cinematic icons are unwavering, a great deal of objective information is presented about such subjects as the Thuggee cult, the Cross of Coronado, the Sankara Stones and of course the Ark of the Covenant.
The most interesting part of Reitz's discussion--and easily the most surprising example of how the periphery shapes the metropole--is the analysis of Thuggee and its suppression by British imperial police.
This time Indy is not fighting Nazis, who want to dominate the world using sacred artifacts, or evil Thuggee cult followers; he is fighting Russians, who want to dominate the world using the supernatural powers of crystal skulls found in South America.
Chapter 4 discusses Catherine Sinclair's 1852 novel, Beatrice, and its equation of Roman Catholicism with Thuggee, a "secret Hindu cult" whose members, "often serving as trusted servants of the colonial British" would befriend unwitting travelers and then strangle them (135-36).
The story of William Sleeman brings in the colonial strand as well as the human factor whereby he sees success against the Thuggee as his passport from a prospectless junior official to promotion, fame and fortune.
One can also recall that Eugene Sue's The Wandering Jew contains a long attack on the Jesuits, comparing them to the Thuggee Society in the East.
Thuggee was almost a caste--membership was hereditary, outsiders scorned--and Thugs were certainly more than bandits; not only deadlier, but so adept at disposing of evidence that they'd thrived for hundreds of years before their existence was officially acknowledged.
However, Lord Bentinck, famed for his reformist zeal on thuggee and suttee, would soon be swayed by the growing stridency of Anglicist voices, raised in clamor against the Orientalists' agenda.
As such, the campaigns against thuggee and suttee frequently cropped up in imperial apologetics.
2) The novel capitalized on a series of revelations about the secret Indian religious society known variously as Thuggee, Thagi, and Phansigar.
Returning to race, and to the discussion of her interpretation of Edwin Drood begun above, I am frankly surprised that Najder, for all her concern with the contemporary, can in 2002 take seriously Howard Duffield's 1930 proposal that Jasper is a member of the Indian Thuggee cult.
Two 19th century examples arose in India: suttee and thuggee.
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