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

Articles by Sujaan MukherjeeSubscribe to Sujaan Mukherjee

‘A Very Odd and Frightening Pamphlet’

During his short stint in Calcutta, Humphry House published a satirical pamphlet titled, I Spy with My Little Eye (1937), which exposed the formal and informal mechanisms through which the colonial government were suppressing freedom of thought and political expression. This paper aims to contextualise I Spy in its historically fraught moment, and to study two of its central concerns: to understand House’s notion of “spyarchy” as a deliberate perversion of civic administration geared towards creating a self-surveilling society; and the legal and quasi-legal methods of censoring the circulation of ideas and literature. In doing so, we hope to historicise and reflect on the phraseology of “terrorism” and “sedition,” and their deployment by the state.


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