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
6 Reviews
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.
 

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This book is very stupid and non-historical. It's written with an aim to malign the people of India. Susan Bayly has not done her research, she is not a scholar but an author who was paid to write a book based on myths and illusions of the priestly caste.

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

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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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