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The Indian caste system is an ancient, pervasive institution of social organization within the subcontinent – or is it? Join me as I speak...

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?


For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.