Peasants and Monks in British India

Front Cover
University of California Press, Jun 18, 1996 - History - 264 pages
In this compelling social history, William R. Pinch tackles one of the most important but most neglected fields of the colonial history of India: the relation between monasticism and caste. The highly original inquiry yields rich insights into the central structure and dynamics of Hindu society—insights that are not only of scholarly but also of great political significance.

Perhaps no two images are more associated with rural India than the peasant who labors in an oppressive, inflexible social structure and the ascetic monk who denounces worldly concerns. Pinch argues that, contrary to these stereotypes, North India's monks and peasants have not been passive observers of history; they have often been engaged with questions of identity, status, and hierarchy—particularly during the British period. Pinch's work is especially concerned with the ways each group manipulated the rhetoric of religious devotion and caste to further its own agenda for social reform. Although their aims may have been quite different—Ramanandi monastics worked for social equity, while peasants agitated for higher social status—the strategies employed by these two communities shaped the popular political culture of Gangetic north India during and after the struggle for independence from the British.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Totally influenced by the facts given by rich and dominant class of the Indian society. In the book many agricultural castes are classified as stigmatised shudra and this book is getting used as a reference to create many wikipedia pages. These pages are giving false information to the readers.  

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

The worst book, who dont have knowledge of Indian history or may be due to political or religion influence

Contents

A NOTE ON TRANSLATION AND TRANSLITERATION
vii
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ix
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
x
Sadbus and Shudras in North India ca 17001900
23
Ramanand and Ramanandis ca 19001940
48
Being Vaishnava Becoming Kshatriya
81
Culture Conflict and Violence in Gangetic India
115
Conclusions
139
FRANCIS BUCHANAN
151
DHARNIDHARACHARYA AND JAMES TOD
155
GOPA CHARITAM
161
NOTES
165
BIBLIOGRAPHY
215
INDEX
233
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page ix - Lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London) in his booklet Troubled Uganda, is very revealing439 : "Mr.

About the author (1996)

William R. Pinch is Assistant Professor of History at Wesleyan University.

Bibliographic information