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Beyond The King & Brahmanas of 'Ancient ' India
Beyond The King & Brahmanas of 'Ancient ' India

Beyond The King & Brahmanas of 'Ancient ' India

by Uma Chakravarti

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Product ID:22308

Language

English

Publisher

Tulika

ISBN

8189847213 - Year: 2007 - Pages: 328

Binding

Paperback

Uma Chakravarti
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Author: Uma Chakravarti
Publisher: Tulika
Year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 328
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8189847213

Description

This volume of essays moves the historiography of ancient India in the service of a history of the present. The cultural onslaught of a brahmanical saffron culture within popular discourse, and the fight against entrenched class and caste interests led by women, dalits and other marginalized groups frame this battle for ‘ancient’ India.

Through and in-depth analysis of myths and original sources, the author provides novel grounds for contesting the foundations of such charged concepts as ‘nation’, ‘civilization’ and ‘womanly honour’. Reading against the grain of canonical sources, she presents a distinctive reading of lesser known Buddhist Pali texts, the Jataka stories, and even contemporary texts like the television serials Chanakya and Ramayana, to demonstrate the stratifications in early Indian society.

The book brings to light several crucial concepts and categories that make possible a sensitive delineation of social alienation, class antagonism and gendered violence in ancient Indian society. The everyday histories of dasas, karmakaras, ‘a’grihinis, bhaktins and gahapatis provide an understanding of ancient India away from the clichéd invocations of ideal Kings, brahmanas and pativratas.

Contents

Acknowledgements
Note on Spelling and Style
History as Practice: Introduction


REPRESENTING ‘ANCIENT’ INDIA
Whatever Happened to the Vedic Dasi?

Inventing saffron History


STRUCTURES AND PROCESSES
Towards a Historical Sociology of Stratification
In Ancient India

Of Dasas and Karmakaras

In Search of the peasant in Early India

The social Philosophy of Buddhism and the
Problem of Inequality

Conceptualizing Brahmanical Patriarchy in
Early India

Gender, Caste and Labour

READING THE PAST
Renouncer and Householder in
Early Buddhism

Women, Men and Beasts

The Development of the Sita Myth

The Making and Unmaking of
‘Tradition’

Exploring a ‘No-Conflict’ Zone

The world of the Bhaktin in
South Indian Traditions


Works Cited

Glossary

Index

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