Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 22, 2001 - History - 421 pages
5 Reviews
The phenomenon of caste has probably aroused more controversy than any other aspect of Indian life and thought. Susan Bayly's cogent and sophisticated analysis explores the emergence of the ideas, experiences and practices which gave rise to the so-called 'caste society' from the pre-colonial period to the end of the twentieth century. Using an historical and anthropological approach, she frames her analysis within the context of India's dynamic economic and social order, interpreting caste not as an essence of Indian culture and civilization, but rather as a contingent and variable response to the changes that occurred in the subcontinent's political landscape through the colonial conquest. The idea of caste in relation to Western and Indian 'orientalist' thought is also explored.
 

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Fantastic overview discussion with primary sources of the Caste system and its interpretation over the ages.

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Bayly, in her desperation, to blame the British Raj for all the ills of pre-independence India, rides rough-shod over the historical evidence, seemingly to match her pre-conceptions with a strange brand of odd and somewhat suspect ideology.
What's worse is she condemns generations of students who look to Wikipedia for the historical record only to discover this same author edits these articles citing her own work as source material!
Not worth the paper its printed on, avoid.
 

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Contents

Historical origins of a caste society
25
kings and service people c 17001830
64
Western orientalists and the colonial perception of caste
97
incubus or essence?
144
The everyday experience of caste in colonial India
187
Caste debate and the emergence of Gandhian nationalism
233
the politicisation of
266
Caste in the everyday life of independent India
306
Caste wars and the mandate of violence
342
Conclusion
365
Glossary
383
Index
413
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