Most of these writings, like Caldwell’s monograph on the Shanars, concerned groups that either succumbed to conversion or were at least targeted for major missionary activity. This section will demonstrate that this caste system is part of the ancient content of Hinduism and therefore should not be considered as a British colonial construct and that British involvement and contributions with regards to the caste system are typical of ruling classes in Indian history. A long history of writing—from the grand treatise of the Abbé Dubois to the general anthropology of Louis Dumont; from the piles of statistical and descriptive volumes of British colonial censuses starting in 1872 to the eye-catching headlines of theNew York Times—has identified caste as the basic form of Indian society. This suggests that the popular uprising was Indian as opposed to Hindu. It is important to appreciate that British colonialism’s impact on Hinduism is only largely significant because of its relatively recent history. Moor states that Brahma, now viewed as one of the most important deities of Hinduism, was not prevalent in Indian teachings. In conclusion, while Hinduism as an appellation can be considered to be a colonial invention all of its content is the result of millennia of social and religious development. V, Stietencron. amount, in any currency, is appreciated. When these works were completed several... Risley was by no means the only observer to suggest that caste opposed nationality. The early Orientalists, while doing so with honest intentions, were key contributors to the invention of Hinduism. Firstly, however an understanding of pre-colonial European conceptions of Hinduism must be achieved. The religion of the Harappan civilisation was typical of river valley areas. of modernity was coloniality. This led to the unintentional invention of a religion that never existed before that point in a coherent form. Rather than a basic expression of Indian tradition, caste is a modern phenomenon--the product of a concrete historical encounter between India and British colonial rule. Macdonell states that Caste “has been the chief characteristic of the civilization of India for more than 2500 years, and has marked off Indian civilization from that of the rest of the world as unique.”[29] This uniqueness could not be significantly constructed or altered during the relatively short period of British colonialism. V, Stietencron. In On Decoloniality Walter D. Mignolo and Catherine E. Walsh explore the hidden forces of the colonial matrix of power, its origination, transformation, and current presence, while asking the crucial questions of decoloniality's how, what, why, with whom, and what for. By the end of the colonial era in India, Hinduism existed as an accepted cohesive religion. Like many postcolonialists, decolonialists seek to draw attention to the relati focus our attention on the rich outpouring of scholarship about the ‘invention of tradition,’ the reification of native culture, and the genealogies of colonial modernity in British (and to a lesser degree French) colonial South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Rather than a basic expression of Indian tradition, caste is a modern phenomenon--the product of a concrete historical encounter between India and British colonial … Savarkar’s narrative emphasized the heroic refusal of Indian heroes, ordinary soldiers as... Victoria’s proclamation had announced, unambiguously, that the British would no longer seek to impose their “convictions on any of our subjects,” and that she would “strictly charge and enjoin all those who may be in authority under us that they abstain from all interference with the religious belief or worship of any of our subjects on pain of our highest displeasure.” She had further declared that in the “framing and administration of law, due regard would henceforth be paid to the ancient rights, usages and customs of India.” But although it was clear that the British intended by this never... For much of the nineteenth century, missionaries continued to dominate the production of ethnographic accounts of India through the sheer volume of accounts and reports they prepared, often to document the trials and tribulations of their labors in the midst of barbarism. G, ‘Sir William Jones and the Association between East and West’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. Examples from the first chapter alone demonstrate various attempts to show Hinduism in a light that would make it more difficult for Christians to define it as heathen. This view found a steady refrain among colonial voices, for whom such an analysis was deeply comforting in its projection that Britain’s empire would not be threatened by a genuine nationalist movement for many years to come. He states that “The colonizers were part of the Abrahamic tradition, which believes in homogenization, and the heterogeneous and non-conflicting Indian society would not have suited their design. The caste system is consistently adapted by those with any degree of political power. The second means through which Hinduism was invented was through India’s clash with British social and religious traditions. The Invention of Caste: Civil Society in Colonial India: Social Analysis. These conclusions were reached by studying these issues before, during and after British colonialism. Before British colonialism, those who would now be defined as Hindu existed without one collective identity and certainly did not possess a unified collective religious identity. The two forms of invention that took place due to orientalists were invention through legitimisation and through generalisation. Modernity and tradition in a global era: the re-invention of caste in India Conceptual paper Abstract Purpose - this paper aims to explore the re-interpretation and justification of caste in India in the face of modernising influences and the efforts of legislators to disassemble its structures and traditions. P.B, ‘”Sultan among Hindu Kings”: Dress, Titles, and the Islamicization of Hindu Culture at Vijayanagara’, The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol.55, No.4, November 1996, [1] Orientalism and religion, Richard King, Routledge, London, 2006, P.98, [2] Fitzsimmons. It is, however, inevitable that the modern Caste situation is a direct descendant of the relatively recent events of British colonialism. The most significant substantive contribution to Hinduism’s creation exist long before any British influence, and Lorenzen’s argument demonstrates the reduced relevance that British colonialism will have once it is not an aspect of recent history. The East India Company arrived in India to engage in trade for goods craved by Europe, only to find local political struggles irresistible, and opportunities for wealth—both private and public—incomparable. The unifying role of the Sanskrit language will also be observed. Pennington explains that, “Sometime between 1789 and 1832, the British perception of Hindu religious traditions underwent a seismic shift.”[11] This demonstrates that the modern understanding of Hinduism manifested during the British colonial period. Madan in his work Pathways (1994). caste, colonialism and counter-modernity: notes on a caste, colonialism and counter-modernity: notes on a postcolonial hermeneutics of caste paperback These photographs and the attendant press coverage would be used to draw dramatic media attention to the protests against caste reservations that had been mounting over the previous six weeks. W, ‘Gods and Monsters’, in The Guardian, 25th August 2007, online, accessed on 4th March 2012, , David Kopf, ‘Hermeneutics versus History’, Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. But under British domination caste did become a single term capable of naming and above all subsuming India's diverse forms of social identity and organization. Problems arose however in his attempts at interpretation and assumptions on facts of Indian culture, Dalrymple for example notes that Jones, “passionately believed that the Hindus were a lost tribe of Egypt.”[19] This shows an earlier example of attempts to connect Indian culture to recognised ‘Western’ civilisation in the pursuit of Orientalists to legitimise Indian culture in the eyes of Western Christianity. Equally within various sects of Hinduism there are also notable disparities. A study of the situation during British colonialism demonstrates that various factors contributed to the construction of Hinduism. These observations means that the content existed before British colonialism at was at some point during the period generalised into Hinduism. This is due to the fact that caste is an ancient feature of Indian culture and therefore caste is an aspect of the content which would be generalised by the British as Hinduism. This further supports the conclusion that the ‘actual’ content of Hinduism was not invented. That might have led them to construct a class-based discriminating society out of the multiple sampradayas and castes co-existing peacefully. A, ‘The Early History of Caste’, The American Historical Review, Vol.19, No.2, January 1914, P.234, [32] Arthashastra, Book 3, Chapter XIX, online, accessed on 5th March 2012, , [33] Porter. 41, No.4, October 1999, Ludden. 42-52 Nicholas B. Dirks. As King states, “the predominant Christian perspective among the Europeans classified Indian religion under the all-inclusive rubric of Heathenism. This therefore would contribute to the conclusion that the concept of a unitary Hindu religion was, at some point, largely invented by British colonialists. The reasons for Buddhism and Jainism therefore not being included within the British generalisation of Hinduism is because they were significantly larger than most Hindu denominations and, more importantly, largely self-determined as individual, separate religions. Colonial state institutions contributed to Hinduism’s construction by creating the bureaucratic categorising that created Hinduism as a religion due to it not belonging to other religious groups. The locally dominant caste or the king of a region was often hostile to the process of the lower caste’s taking over of the customs and rites of the higher castes. These conclusions are reinforced by observing the caste system, conclusions in this case that the caste system is part of the social content of Hinduism and therefore cannot be considered as having been invented by Europeans. The caste system in India is an ancient part of Indian society. While there was a large degree of merger of both British and Indian traditions, “the colonial situation determined the rules of the encounter.”[21] This meant that British conceptions of Indians would come to more prevalence than Indian conceptions of themselves. Mixed-Race and Modernity in Colonial India. Notes on a Postcolonial Hermeneutics of Caste. Histories Implicated in Colonialism. J.H, ‘Caste in India’, American Anthropologist, Vol. A. Some writings seemed to celebrate scandal, as we have just seen in the case of hookswinging; others focused on the more exotic customs of tribal and lowercaste groups. For example, beliefs range between monotheism and polytheism in different denominations. ‘Modernity/coloniality’ is a concept first used by Aníbal Quijano and later developed by Walter Mignolo. Jones made immense contributions to Sanskrit translation and introducing Indian culture to the West. 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