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

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

by Susan Bayly
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521264340

ISBN-13: 9780521264341

Pub. Date: 11/28/2008

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

The phenomenon of caste has probably aroused more controversy than any other aspect of Indian life and thought. Some scholars see India's caste system as the defining feature of Indian culture, although it is dismissed by others as a colonial artefact. Susan Bayly's cogent and sophisticated analysis explores the emergence of the ideas, experiences and practices which…  See more details below

Overview

The phenomenon of caste has probably aroused more controversy than any other aspect of Indian life and thought. Some scholars see India's caste system as the defining feature of Indian culture, although it is dismissed by others as a colonial artefact. Susan Bayly's cogent and sophisticated analysis explores the emergence of the ideas, experiences and practices which gave rise to so-called 'caste society' over a period of 350 years, from the pre-colonial period to the end of the twentieth century. Combining historical and anthropological approaches, Bayly frames her analysis within the context of India's dynamic economic and social order. She thereby interprets caste not as the essence of Indian culture and civilisation, but rather as a contingent and variable response to the enormous changes that occurred in the subcontinent's political landscape both before and after colonial conquest.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521264341
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2008
Series:
New Cambridge History of India Series
Pages:
444
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.14(d)

Table of Contents

List of plates
General editor's preface
Acknowledgements
Map 1The break-up of the Mughal empire, c. 1766
Map 2British India, 1858-1947
Map 3India after Independence, 1956-1987
Introduction1
1Historical origins of a 'caste society'25
2The 'Brahman Raj': kings and service people c. 1700-183064
3Western 'orientalists' and the colonial perception of caste97
4Caste and the modern nation: incubus or essence?144
5The everyday experience of caste in colonial India187
6Caste debate and the emergence of Gandhian nationalism233
7State policy and 'reservations': the politicisation of caste-based social welfare schemes266
8Caste in the everyday life of independent India306
9'Caste wars' and the mandate of violence342
Conclusion365
Glossary383
Bibliography388
Index413

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