In retelling the history of “criminal tribe” settlements managed by the Salvation Army in Madras Presidency (colonial India) from 1911, I argue that neither the mobility–immobility relationship nor the compositional heterogeneity of (im)mobility practices can be adequately captured by relational dialecticism espoused by leading mobilities scholars. Rather than emerging as an opposition through dialectics, the relationship between (relative) mobility and containment may be characterized by overlapping hybridity and difference. This differential hybridity becomes apparent in two ways if mobility and containment are viewed as immanent gatherings of humans and nonhumans. First, the same entities may participate in gatherings of mobility and of containment, while producing different effects in each gathering. Here, nonhumans enter a gathering, and constitute (im)mobility practices, as actors that make history irreducibly differently from other actors that they may be entangled with. Second, modern technologies and amodern “institutions” may be indiscriminately drawn together in all gatherings.
Gatherings of Mobility and Immobility
Itinerant “Criminal Tribes” and Their Containment by the Salvation Army in Colonial South India
Visualizing Vigilance in the Generalized Representation of the Nomad
Reflections on the Banjara Community in Rajasthan, India
hereditary criminal dispositions. This collective criminalization culminated in the Criminal Tribes Act 1871, which involved identifying all tribes and gangs who were assumed to be systematically engaged in criminal activities and ensuring their containment