THE CASPIAN REGION:Politics, Economics, Culture

Scientific journal

Groom and Govern: Native Interlocutors in Nineteenth-Century Asiatic Russia and British India

2014. №1, pp. 228-234

Khodarkovskiy Mikhail - Member of Рµditorial board, Professor, Chicago University Loyola (USA), 507 Crown Center, 60611, Chicago, IL, mkhodar@luc.edu

This essay focuses on one particular aspect of the imperial conquest and colonization--a group of the indispensable intermediaries who provided the first and crucial link between the imperial government and indigenous societies in Asiatic Russia. Whether they served as interpreters, government officials, or military officers, they shared a similar background. They were the native sons who, for various but mostly coercive reasons, found themselves in Russia, where they were schooled in Russian and sent back to the regions of their origin. They were a focal point of contact between the different cultures and civilizations, and a critical filter of information that flowed between the Russian authorities and native societies. Such individuals existed in the history of all empires and without them the imperial conquest and rule would have been impossible. Below I will discuss a few such individuals and offer a brief comparison between the indigenous elite in the Russian empire and in British India.

Key words: империя, колонизация, идентичность, посредники, русификация, национальные элиты, Empire, colonization, identity, interlocutors, russification, ethnic elites

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