Synopses & Reviews
This volume, a part of the prestigious Themes in Indian History
series, brings together the work of distinguished scholars on the analyzing caste and related socio-cultural processes. There are anthropological and ethnological collections on the issue of caste but this volume through a collection of seminal essays brings together the much-needed historical perspective on the issue.
A comprehensive introduction sets the tone for the consideration of the questions of caste. Beginning with the period of the coming of the Portuguese to India, the collection of essays considers caste in medieval and modern times. It brings together the ethno-sociological categories of study such as the census and village-community with the political and the historical-colonialism, nationality, and state-formation. The question is approached from both the macro-perspective considering prominent leaders, the national movement, and British imperialism as well as through micro-studies of specific communities and their practices. These wide-ranging topics are divided in four subsequent sections -- Caste and Colonialism, Caste in Practice, Caste and Politics, and Caste in Everyday Life -- the questions are considered from these various dimensions. Eminent contributors like Bernard Cohn, Frank Conlon, Eleanor Zelliot, Shail Mayaram, Shekhar Bandopadhyay's works feature in this volume along with several other equally incisive and readable essays. This volume will be indispensable for any collection or consideration related to the issue of caste.
About the Author
is Associate Professor, Centre for Asian and African Studies, El Ciolegio de Mexico.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Questions of Caste, Ishita Banerjee-Dube Caste and Colonialism
1. Caste and the British Merchant Government, 1639-1749, Patrick A. Roche;
2. The Census, Social Stratification and Objectification in South Asia, Bernard S. Cohn; Excerpt from Caste and British Rule by G. S. Ghurye;
3. Between Number and Knowledge: Career of Caste in Colonial Census, Padmanabh Samarendra; Excerpt from From Village to Community by Richard Saumarez Smith; Excerpt from Caste and Nationality by H. H. Risley;
4. Caste in Practice The Birth of a Jati, Frank F. Conlon; Excerpt from The Northern Nadars of Tamil Nadu by Denis Templeman;
5. Dimensions of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Caste Differences in Entrepreneurial Style, Raymond Lee Owens and Ashis Nandy;
6. The Shudra Right to Rule: Caste, Clan, Community and State, Shail Mayaram;
7. The Mukkuvars of Kanyakumari: On the Margins of Caste Society, Kalpana Ram;
8. Caste and Politics Securing the Rural Citizen: The Anti Kallar Movement of 1896, Anand Pandian;
9. Phule and the Inversion of Brahman Myths, Rosalind O'Hanlon;
10. . Social Mobility in Colonial Bengal: The Namasudras, Sekhar Bandyopadhyay;
11. Gandhi and Ambedkar: A Study in Leadership, Eleanor Zelliot; Excerpt from Rise of Dalits and the Renewed Debate on Caste by Rajni Kothari;
12. Is India Becoming More Democratic?, Ashutosh Varshney;
13. bCaste in Everyday Life . Higher Castes and Lower Castes in Karani, Viramma, Josian Racine and Jean-Luc Racine;
14. Religious Hymns, Vasant Moon;
15. Childhood Formations, Kancha Ilaiah; Excerpt from The Ex-Untouchables of Post-Independence Punjaby by Mark Juergensmeyer;
16. Authority and Discrimination in Everyday Life, Saurabh Dube