basically these are the jargon for intellectual appetite. the truth is clear that in Indian context the division of labour by virtue of birth of an individual i in a particular community is very much pertinent in both the minority communities of India.
senthil raja wrote:
In hinduism, manu smriti is just one of the numerous smritis written during various times by the kings.. its not universal.. Hence, quoting from one smriti and generalising all, is NOT correct..
Secondly, the smritis are NOT followed by most of the people.. its not a holy book similar to bible, as being projected by some people..
The very word Caste is not an indian term.. it came from the portugese word "Casta" ..
Colonial views on caste, according to Dirks, were consciously articulated. They ignored or did not recognise that in pre-colonial India, the units of social identity had been multiple, heterogeneous and determined by context (e.g. the temple and the state = king) in a complex, conjunctured, constantly changing political world. It is a striking act of history and studied disregard for ethnographic specificity, as well as a systematic denial of the political mechanisms that selected different kinds of social units as significant, and as most valorised, at different times, that made caste central to social organisation.
"In early colonial historiography (19th Century) the most influential views on caste were those of the Missionary, who denounced caste as the most serious impediment to the spread of the Gospel, the Indologist, who produced text-oriented views on Indian society and the Orientalist who created stereotypes such as Oriental Despotism and Village Republics. British interest in the institution of caste intensified in very new ways depending upon the documentation projects of the early colonial state around matters of land revenue � to understand local forms of landholding, to reorganise the agrarian order, to resurrect local landlords or the Ryotwari against landlords and the village community, all of which played a critical role in the primary transformations of British rule from the late 18th to the early 19th Centuries. "
In the process of defining rituals as either sanctioned by Brahmanical religion or as folk/ popular, Hinduism itself was redefined and a rigid separation between the high classical and the low popular religion made, producing the model of the Great and Little traditions.
Hinduism and the relationship of religion to society have undergone a massive redefinition from the 18th to the 20th Centuries. In the colonial context, it was defined by an upper caste elite in relationship to colonial and national contexts and imperatives. The birth of a new post-colonial Hindu nationalism is a result of the several versions of Hinduism which emerged in reaction to colonial and Oriental characterisation of Hinduism. The most pernicious legacy, Dirks says, is the construction of the idea of a national community persisting long after colonial rule. The peculiar contradictions that are still very much a part of the colonial inheritance for the nation, still work against most progressive post-colonial politics of India today. The colonial past continues to be written into the new world order, in post-colonial developments around liberalisation, globalisation and the later 20th Century triumph of capitalism.
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