Prakash Shah

Mar 13, 2019

Western Foundations of the Caste System

Palgrave Macmillan 2017

purchase at bookshop.org The Indian caste system is an ancient, pervasive institution of social organization within the subcontinent – or is it? Join me as I speak with Dr. Prakash Shah (Reader in Culture and Law at the Queen Mary University of London, UK) about his co-edited work, Western Foundations of the Caste System (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Ranging from ancient Indian history to modern British law, the contributions to this book advance a provocative thesis, namely, that what we refer to as Indian caste is more a function of Western Christian encounters with India than anything historically occurring on Indian soil. Could this be the case? Could the caste system constitute a projection born of Western interpretive bias rather than an ancient Indian indigenous social institution?
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