A Social History of India

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APH Publishing, Jan 1, 2000 - India - 799 pages
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After going through a few of the sample pages of this book, which no doubt contain a lot of information (correct or contrived), the general impression that comes up is that it is a sort of SNDP work, eulogising both Sree Narayanaguru as well as SNDP. Even there might be aspect of greatness in the works of both, their relevance to the region that was known as North Malabar is quite doubtful. The author has spoilt the quality of this work variously, including the fact that in many places the word Ezhava is mentioned with the word 'Thiyya' in brackket. Even though there might some correctness in using the term 'Ezhava as a synonym for 'Makkathaya Thiyyas' of South Malabar, it is quite doubtful if the north Malabar Thiyyas or the 'Marumakkathaya Thiyyas' come under the description of 'Ezhava'. In this sense, this book is quite a desperate attempt to promote SNDP's political ambition to bring unconnected populations under its own political Standards.
Another term that might also require some examination is the word 'Kerala'. It might be good to mention that before the formation of Kerala, Malabar region, especially the North Malabar region did not have much links or social connection to Travancore. Even the language of north Malabar was quite different from Malayalam.
If a detailed examination is done in this regard, it might emerge that the forcible amalgamation of Malabar district of erstwhile Madras state with Travancore might have been done to remove the grave issue of Malabar forests having been encroached and taken over, by the settler folks from another state (Travancore-Cochin). In Madras state, this would have been seen as encroachment by migrant folks. It would have led to forcible expulsion of the settlers from their occupied forest areas. However, by shifting the Malabar region to a newly created minute state called Kerala, the settler folks were converted into a significant population in the new state.
Beyond that, the writings does reflect the terrible antipathy for the Nairs or Sudras, which is a common feature of Travancore Ezhava antiquity. This kind of rabid antipathy was not there in north Malabar region, while in South Malabar there had been great communal clashes due to this.
However, there does seem to be a lot of information collected from various folklore or some other source. In that sense, this book might be valuable. However, the reader must bear in mind the above mentioned issues.
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really a great book. every one has to read it.

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Contents

The Aryan Invasion of India
1
The Vedic Religion and Society
13
The Age of the Buddha
25
The Expansion of Buddhism
71
Buddhism in Kerala
101
The Brahminic Reaction
145
The Pyramid of Brahminic Victory
225
Caste Invades Kerala
295
Its Methods and Mechanics
369
Its Dialectics and Dynamics
403
Its Agents and Agencies
469
An Intellectual Community
585
Bibliography
727
Index
739
Copyright

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