Western Foundations of the Caste System
Palgrave Macmillan 2017
New Books in British StudiesNew Books in Hindu StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books in South Asian StudiesNew Books Network March 13, 2019 Raj Balkaran
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?