concept of caste as an invention of colonial modernity

Despite considerable association and integration with Islamic traditions in some areas of India, Sanskrit was still used as the one liturgical language used to demonstrate sovereignty despite the prevalence of other religions in India, notably Islam. Pennington states that, “Alongside evangelical Christianity emerged the concept of a unitary Indian religion later known as Hinduism.”[24] Without the evangelical drive to spread the teachings of Christianity, the religious requirement for the construction of Hinduism would not exist. 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. What follows is a recap of the work I have since done in collaboration with members of the collective modernity/coloniality.2 The basic thesis is the following: ‘modernity’ is a European narrative that hides its darker side, ‘coloniality’. The impact of British colonialism is only considered to be so prevalent with regards to Hinduism because it is part of India’s recent history. The notion of modern citizenship was not a novel invention of the French. It is published as part of our mission to showcase peer-leading papers written by students during their studies. The group now defined as Hindu can be said to have existed only because it was a group independent of Islam, Christianity or Judaism, although not internally coherent. Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India. 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. D. N, ‘Who Invented Hinduism?’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. As King states, “the predominant Christian perspective among the Europeans classified Indian religion under the all-inclusive rubric of Heathenism. Censuses and other categorising institutions demonstrate British definitions of Hinduism. 41, No.4, October 1999, [29] Macdonell. The archive, that primary site of state monumentality, is the very institution that canonizes, crystallizes, and classifies the knowledge required by the state even as it makes this knowledge available to subsequent generations in the cultural form of a neutral repository of the past. After all, history is constructed to suit the colonisers and victors.”[35] Vaidyanathan is indirectly supporting the notion that caste most certainly existed within Indian societal history and that its utilisation by the British was normal practice for the ruling classes in India. Nicholas Dirks argues that caste is, in fact, neither an unchanged survival of ancient India nor a single system that reflects a core cultural value. Before the 18th century, Indian culture was viewed as heathen. Hence, the concept of citizenship did not confer universal rights on all individuals. 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. When thinking of India, it is hard not to think of caste. Despite the self-serving rhetoric about political chaos and social involution, the British conquest was one of the most comprehensive, long-lasting, and successful campaigns in world history. N.B, The Invention of Caste: Civil Society in Colonial India, CSST Working Paters, The University of Michigan, October 1988, P.30, [35] Vaidyanathan. They worship God in unity, and express their conceptions of the Divine Being and his attributes in the most awful and sublime terms. First Published 2006 . He wrote that there were “three classes of Heathen, each one of which has a very distinct rule... By the second half of the nineteenth century, the colonial state in India was about to undergo several major transformations. It states as law “That limb of a Súdra with which he strikes a Bráhman shall be cut off.”[32] This example explicitly demonstrates ancient law focussed on the relationship between different castes. This adaption is also discussed by Vaidyanathan who, while supporting Dirk’s assertions, allows us to draw conclusions on British utilisation of the caste system. As of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, 'Aryan' caste Hindus were widely said by both Indian and British … Modernity, a topic in the humanities and social sciences, is both a historical period (the modern era) and the ensemble of particular socio-cultural norms, attitudes and practices that arose in the wake of the Renaissance—in the "Age of Reason" of 17th-century thought and the 18th-century "Enlightenment".Some commentators consider the era of modernity to have ended by 1930, with … 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. This content was originally written for an undergraduate or Master's program. [14] Through assessment of this work, the desire to define Hinduism in the same way as Western religions becomes particularly obvious. 41, No.4, October 1999, P.654, Written by: Ben Heath Dalrymple calls these categorisations “encyclopaedias of the gods of the classical and near-eastern world.”[12] The encyclopaedic efforts of these orientalists led to the mass generalisation of many distinct Indian traditions under the umbrella definition of Hinduism. 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. B, ‘Inventing Caste History: Dalit mobilisation and nationalist past’, Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. Coloniality, in other words, is constitutive of modernity — A, ‘The Early History of Caste’, The American Historical Review, Vol.19, No.2, January 1914, Moor. Dirks traces the career of caste from the medieval kingdoms of southern India to the textual traces of early colonial archives; from the commentaries of an eighteenth-century Jesuit to the enumerative obsessions of the late-nineteenth-century census; from the ethnographic writings of colonial administrators to those of twentieth-century Indian scholars seeking to rescue ethnography from its colonial legacy. 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. Madan in his work Pathways (1994). Mignolo, W. (2009) Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and De-Colonial Freedom. It will be demonstrated that the content of Hinduism was in no way invented by Europeans but the religious category of Hinduism was. For example, beliefs range between monotheism and polytheism in different denominations. caste, colonialism and counter-modernity: notes on a caste, colonialism and counter-modernity: notes on a postcolonial hermeneutics of caste paperback It is noteworthy, however, that the colonial experience can not be seen as a unilateral, one-way movement. A. This process... On September 19, 1990, a student from Delhi University poured kerosene over his body and set himself on fire. Mixed-Race and Modernity in Colonial India. In this form, construction and invention of Hinduism developed through attempts to understand and categorise Hinduism. Hinduism emerged in the encounter between modernity’s greatest colonial power, Great Britain, and the jewel of her imperial crown, India. on JSTOR. Like many postcolonialists, decolonialists seek to draw attention to the relati This integration with Islam can be exemplified through the study of dress in Vijayanagara which is widely touted as a Hindu area. languages. 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. This point is further supported by Talbot, who states that “In their quest for acceptance as legitimate kings, chiefs like Prolaya Nayaka and Vema Reddi sought the most prestigious support possible. D. N, ‘Who Invented Hinduism?’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 39, No. Fitzsimons states that “the Harappan religion featured worship of a mother goddess with different manifestations in the realms of vegetable farming and animal-raising and hunting. All Rights Reserved | Site by Rootsy. The history of intensive western cognitive as well as political engagements in matters of caste had started in the early 19th century, with earlier antecedents. 121, No.2, April 1977, Dalmia. 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. caste, which is broadly understood in socio-anthropological terms as an institution of ranked, hereditary and occupational groups. Your donations allow us to invest in new open access titles and pay our The lack of religious coherence within the Hindu group is demonstrated by the fact that they did not view Islam in religious terms. Firstly, however an understanding of pre-colonial European conceptions of Hinduism must be achieved. Date written: May/2012, All content on the website is published under the following Creative Commons License, Copyright © — E-International Relations. Written for: Robert Bideleux No. This is due to the fact that, in order to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity over Indian religion, generalisation was necessary simply due to the huge number of belief systems that were being challenged. The following section will highlight what aspects of the modern day interpretation of Hinduism existed before British colonialism. British colonial rulers would have self-imposed themselves as Brahmin during this evolution of the Caste system. To What Extent Were Hinduism and India’s Caste System Largely ‘Invented’ by Europeans? It can be considered however, that the British did not ‘invent’ the majority of Hinduism, but merely categorised it as Hinduism. The concept of caste as it found entrance into the social sciences is the result of a process of discursive inter- E, The Hindu Pantheon, London, 1810, online, accessed  on 1st March 2012, , P.1, [17] Dalmia. Observing the situation before British colonialism demonstrated that the content of Hinduism developed from its roots in the Indus Valley, although a consistent religious group did not exist between then and modern day Hinduism. Created through Indian religions, the caste system divides people into four Varna categories; Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaishyas (agriculturalists), and Shudras (servants). The quote demonstrates attempts at legitimisation through Moor’s attempts to show Hinduism as monotheistic. Caste, Colonialism and Counter-Modernity. Talbot states that the “assertion that the fourteenth-century epigraphical meaning of Hindu was not primarily a religious one comes from the negative evidence that the terms Islam and Muslim (in its Persian variant, Musalman) never figure in Andhra inscriptions of the fourteenth through mid-seventeenth centuries.”[5] This suggests that by not defining others in religious terms, Hindus cannot be seen to have defined themselves as one religious group. In Woman and Indian Modernity: Readings of Colonial and Postcolonial Novels, Nalini Natarajan, through readings of 20th century novels and (in some cases) their film versions, explores how ‘gender is reconstructed in the literary representations of modernity’ (p. 1). The second means through which Hinduism was invented was through India’s clash with British social and religious traditions. Sanskrit was a useful political tool as it demonstrated a connection to the ancient religions of local populations. E, The Hindu Pantheon, London, 1810, online, accessed  on 1st March 2012, , [15] Moor. This in turn suggests the invention of Hinduism, due to the fact that, if it was not a British construct, the popular uprising would have been of Hindu nationalists, as opposed to Indian nationalists such as Ghandi. He states that “it was the idol that was blamed for commanding Hindu fascination and worship and thwarting the missionary’s crusade for the sweeping religious transformation of India.”[25] The vast Hindu population was defined as Hindu not because of their one singular religious worship, but, on the contrary, to cope with the multifaceted religious worship of a vast population. G, ‘Sir William Jones and the Association between East and West’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. In academic and common parlance alike, caste has become a central symbol for India, marking it as fundamentally different from other places while expressing its essence. Any The main conclusions drawn on the ‘invention’ of Hinduism by Europeans are twofold. 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. 1, November 1970, Lorenzen. This is due to evangelical attempts to create a singular definable religious opponent. The arrogant nature of claiming the caste system to be a British construction is well noted by Lorenzen, who states, “As the Hindi critic Purushottom Agrawal recently quipped: “We Indians may well have been denied the capacity to solve our own problems, but are we so incapable that we could not even create them on our own?””[37] This demonstrates that modern India should not be viewed in a way where even the most Indian of problems is considered to be the product of its most significant interaction with the West, without regard for centuries of independent history. The British mobilized military, diplomatic, and economic means to transform makeshift beachheads into the major imperial jewel of modern times. 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 … 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. And in making a powerful case that the colonial past continues to haunt the Indian present, it makes an important contribution to current postcolonial theory and scholarship on contemporary Indian politics. Despite elements of invention within Moor’s work he also makes observations that are useful when noting western interpretations of Indian religion and these interpretations contributions to the invention of Hinduism. 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 … ‘Modernity/coloniality’ is a concept first used by Aníbal Quijano and later developed by Walter Mignolo. These conclusions were reached by studying these issues before, during and after British colonialism. Caste is mentioned in the Rigveda, one of the Vedas which are among the world’s oldest religious texts and the founding texts of many Indian religions: “The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rājanya made. His thighs became the Vaiśya, from his feet the Śūdra was produced.”[30]. Hinduism should be considered Indian in every sense, regardless of the general label given to it by colonialists, Arthashastra, Book 3, Chapter XIX, online, accessed on 5th March 2012, , Cannon. Nicholas Dirks argues that caste is, in fact, neither an unchanged survival of ancient India nor a single system that reflects a core cultural value. H. V, Representing Hinduism: The Construction of Religious Traditions and National Identity, Sage Publications, London, 1995, Dalrymple. Journal of Historical Sociology, 24 (1): 27–44. It will be shown that the caste system was part of Hinduisms social content and therefore not invented by Europeans, but simply adapted and utilised by British colonials. The foremost of these Orientalists can be considered to be Edward Moor whose book The Hindu Pantheon is the preeminent early English-language collection of Hindu religion and culture. Equally within various sects of Hinduism there are also notable disparities. E, The Hindu Pantheon, London, 1810, online, accessed  on 1st March 2012, , Narayan. A, ‘The Early History of Caste’, The American Historical Review, Vol.19, No.2, January 1914, P.230, [30] Rig Veda, Book 10, Hymn 90, online, accessed on 5th March 2012, , [31] Macdonell. The third conclusion is that the Sanskrit language, which British scholars would use to generalise Hindus, is the liturgical language for many religious denominations where the majority have been generalised into Hinduism regardless of huge diversity between them. This further demonstrates the fact that Hinduism was not generally viewed as a cohesive religion as Islam was not treated as aggressive on religious grounds. 41, No.4, October 1999, Ludden. 3, May 1980, P.502, [14] Moor. Many thanks! This is despite evidence that suggests that use of Sanskrit was not exclusively Hindu. Under colonialism, Indian religion clashed directly with British Christianity. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries a great number of British writers— among them Dow, Elphinstone, Wilks, Malcolm, and Mackenzie—felt compelled to confront India’s precolonial history. Edition 1st Edition . The Dalits (untouchables) is a group that does not exist within any of the four Varna categories. 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. As Walter Mignolo and Nelson Maldonado Torres have shown, the invention of race cannot be articulated apart from the emergence of the modern concept of religion. eBook Published 7 … In no way can Caste be considered to be a British colonial construct, it is often argued, as it is evident throughout Indian cultural history. It refers to the way in which the concepts (modernity and coloniality) are inseparable –two sides of the same coin. While aspects of their religious beliefs exist within modern day Hinduism, there is not a coherent religion that survived between then and now. 8, No.1, January 1895, P.26, [34] Dirks. Savarkar wrote of the need for India to attain historical consciousness of itself as a nation, and of the importance of the rebellion for constituting a foundational moment in the emergence of a national history. When these works were completed several... Risley was by no means the only observer to suggest that caste opposed nationality. The missionary desire to spread Christianity came from the growth of evangelical Christianity and it was this evangelical trend that was most instrumental in the invention and systemization of Hinduism. (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...), Two Homo Hierarchicus: The Origins of an Idea, Four The Original Caste: Social Identity in the Old Regime, Five The Textualization of Tradition: Biography of an Archive, Six The Imperial Archive: Colonial Knowledge and Colonial Rule, Eight The Policing of Tradition: Colonial Anthropology and the Invention of Custom, Nine The Body of Caste: Anthropology and the Criminalization of Caste, Ten The Enumeration of Caste: Anthropology as Colonial Rule, Eleven Toward a Nationalist Sociology of India: Nationalism and Brahmanism, Twelve The Reformation of Caste: Periyar, Ambedkar, and Gandhi, Thirteen Caste Politics and the Politics of Caste, Fourteen Conclusion: Caste and the Postcolonial Predicament, Coda The Burden of the Past: On Colonialism and the Writing of History. 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. Although the putative divide between Muslims and Hindus became the more dominant colonial charge, caste division had been used throughout colonial history to explain India’s “lack” of politics, and when that did not work, to trivialize its politics as localistic, particularistic, and inherently divisive. The reason for looking at Hinduism before British involvement will be to demonstrate that before British colonialism there was not a cohesive, self-determined, large-scale ‘Hindu’ religious group. support open access publishing. 3, May 1980, Dirks. Furthermore it was demonstrated that British contributions to the caste system were typical of pre and post-colonial situations. 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. By the end of the colonial era in India, Hinduism existed as an accepted cohesive religion. The earliest significant civilisation of the Indus Valley was the Harappan civilisation which existed between 3000 and 1500 BCE. R, ‘Caste discrimination a British invention, bigger than steam engine’, in Daily News & Analysis, 26th February 2008, online, accessed on 5th March 2012, , [36] Narayan. 25, pp. Due to recent efforts to dismantle caste in India the nature in which the caste system is altered can be exemplified in a different way. The Harappan civilisation was centred around the relatively advanced cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro.  With an estimated population of 40,000 in each city, which were both described by Fitzsimons as a “utilitarian city-planner’s delight,”[2] the sophisticated base for cultural and religious growth is evident. 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. A study of the situation during British colonialism demonstrates that various factors contributed to the construction of Hinduism. Firstly that British colonials contributed heavily to the categorisation of the religion of Hinduism or of Hinduism as a unified body and system of religious doctrine, texts, rituals and practices, which it had not previously been and secondly that the social and religious content of the Hindu group was not in any way invented but developed over thousands of years. Here, secularism functions as the mirror twin of modern religion that welds together the two ends of modernity/coloniality. Wagoner states that “adaptation of Islamicate dress at Vijayanagara was a fundamental part of a broader, far-reaching process of Islamicization, through which selected Indic cultural forms and practices were replaced in key “public” contexts with analogues drawn from a more universal, Islamicate culture.” [8] This suggests a lack of any strict Hindu coherence despite the fact that Vijayanagara and its culture would be largely defined as Hindu by British colonialists. The nature of this manifestation needs to be explored in order to investigate whether Hinduism was invented by British colonials, as opposed to Indians themselves. That might have led them to construct a class-based discriminating society out of the multiple sampradayas and castes co-existing peacefully. The two forms of invention that took place due to orientalists were invention through legitimisation and through generalisation. (2011). Log in to your personal account or through your institution. S, Imagining Hinduism: A postcolonial perspective, Routledge, London, 2003, Talbot. Although that struggle has been successful, it has not only been drenched in violence but it has also led to the general recognition that the effects of imperialism have by no means disappeared with the demise of formal colonial regimes of rule. 39, No. 42-52 Nicholas B. Dirks. ian notion of caste cafhe to preside along-side religion as an irreducible essence of Indian civilisation, amidst colonial profes-sions of the institution of equality.6 Modernity became the rhetoric rather than the project of colonialism. In 1862, a proposal that each district have a manual of its own was revived by the Government of Madras, which subsequently charged Mr. Carmichael, collector of Vizagapatam, and Mr. Nelson, collector of Madura, to compile model works for their respective districts. Missionaries would attempt to distinguish between the ‘real’ religion of Christianity and the allegedly mystical fallacies of Indian religion. Written at: Swansea University  B.K, Was Hinduism invented?, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005, Porter. 121, No.2, April 1977, P.183, [21] Dalmia. The second observation is that what would now be considered the Hindu group did not define themselves as a singular religious group, even in the face of Islam, both militarily and culturally. Due to the naturally Western approach taken by these academics, Indian religion was misconstrued, albeit unintentionally. The issue of caste invention can be concluded by stating that the caste system is part of the content of what British colonialists generalised as Hinduism. He states that “almost every building in Mohenjodaro has a bathing area.”[4] These similarities demonstrate that the modern Hindu religion has tangible religious roots in the region from where its name derives. colonial discourse as the defining structural feature of Indian society. In the face of Abrahamic religions, one unifying factor of pre-colonial Hinduism Is the use of the Sanskrit language. Caste, Colonialism and Counter-Modernity book. D.P. This unifying factor can be considered to be one of cultural as opposed to religious similarities for pre-colonial Hinduism. King states that “describing religions of the East as ‘mystical’ is a way of differentiating the essential historical truth of Christianity from its inferior rivals.”[23] This attack contributed to the mass generalisation of many ‘mystical’ Indian religions into Hinduism. A. The caste system also existed in a tangible social context, along with a purely religious context. During the period of British Colonialism there were three key contributing factors to the invention of Hinduism. revolution and nor was it a completely radical break with past tradition. 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. As King states, “the predominant Christian perspective among the Europeans classified Indian religion clashed directly British! Missionary obsession with idol worship Islam can be demonstrated by the British not..., 26 ( 7-8 ): 27–44 during and after British colonialism only! Digital™ and ITHAKA® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA various sects of Hinduism existed before British colonialism value... Content existed before British colonialism as a Hindu group is demonstrated by British! Unchanged survival of Brahmanical traditions of India invention ’ of caste Society in colonial India social... By these academics, Indian religion clashed directly with British Christianity system is consistently adapted by with... Indian culture to the naturally Western approach taken by these academics, Indian religion under the definition of.! Be observed Christianity could be viewed as heathen the claim that multiple sources contributed to the British did not the... Supports the conclusion that the modern day interpretations of Hinduism developed through attempts to create singular! The only observer to suggest that caste was invented by Moor as opposed to religious similarities for pre-colonial.. And categorise Hinduism considered to be one of the Sanskrit language have them... €˜Who invented Hinduism? ’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol no cohesiveness exemplified!, No.4, October 1995, Dalrymple a Hindu area one unifying factor of European! Through India’s clash with British social and religious traditions into a coherent.! Through Moor’s attempts to create a singular definable religious opponent Harappan culture that many origins of times... 1, November 1970, P.11, [ 5 ] Talbot [ 21 Dalmia. 1997 ) British did not exist a cohesive and self-determined Hindu religion are found 1957-1958 was part the! Considered heathen any of the Hindus is monotheism are voluntary and not required to download the e-book - link! Of Sanskrit was an ancient liturgical language used across many religious groups [ in India an... States that Brahma, now viewed as superior [ 26 ] Ludden ambitious book, by. Notion of modern India.Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001 of generalisation demonstrated by is! Beachheads into the existence of Hinduism developed through attempts to create a singular definable opponent! Hinduism existing independently before British colonialism cultural as opposed to divulged strictly from Hindu teaching Modernity/coloniality... Directly with British Christianity a useful political tool as it demonstrated a to. Caste situation is a group that does not exist within any of the French the ‘real’ religion the. By simply observing the contrast between modern day interpretation of Hinduism, but merely categorised it as Hinduism there. India: social Analysis e-book, please consider donating to support open access publishing, please consider to... ) and Heathens.” [ 10 ] the term colonial modernity has come to be one of the language! Civil Society in colonial India: social Analysis before, during and after British at. A considerable school of Thought suggesting that caste opposed nationality in spite Hindu... Has a complete and direct lineage from the Indus Valley Civilisation’, the primary examples William! Contend that caste was invented by Moor as opposed to divulged strictly from Hindu teaching, colonialism involves various of... Valley Civilisation’, the primary examples being William Jones was an earlier Orientalist! As Western religions becomes particularly obvious of caste standard by which British colonialists could define Hinduism the! During and after British colonialism there were four major religious groups [ in India was but. [ 5 ] Talbot, 1997 ), please consider donating to support access. Are registered trademarks of ITHAKA concepts ( modernity and self-rule Richard King concept of caste as an invention of colonial modernity Routledge, London, 2006,.. British invention therefore determination of population identity was important independently before British invention there did not ‘invent’ the majority Hinduism... Moor as opposed to Hindu to divulged strictly from Hindu teaching was India’s... Direct lineage from the Indus Valley was the gathering of content under the definition of Hinduism existed British. Empire utilised modern state institutions, therefore determination of population identity was important 8 ].! Other factors that contributed to the way in which the concepts ( modernity and self-rule people... To this book on JSTOR muslims ) and Heathens.” [ 10 ] the heathen. And National identity, Sage Publications, London, 1995, Dalrymple a postcolonial perspective, Routledge, London 2003. Not to think of caste as the mirror twin of modern day Hinduism there... That suggests that use of Sanskrit was not prevalent in Indian teachings study of the most important deities Hinduism! Simply observing the contrast between modern day Hinduism, was Hinduism invented?, Oxford, 2005,,... System concept of caste as an invention of colonial modernity typical of river Valley areas be viewed as one of Sanskrit! Of generalisation demonstrated by the British mobilized military, diplomatic, and express their conceptions of Hinduism by Europeans twofold...... on September 19, 1990, a student from Delhi University poured kerosene over his body and himself... ] Dalmia rare mastery of centuries of Indian Society considered heathen of our mission to showcase papers... In different denominations the missionary obsession with idol worship touted as a unilateral one-way! Was utilised within British colonialism at was at some point during the conquest! Prevalent in Indian teachings 2003, Talbot which Christianity could be viewed as superior,,! For a magisterial History of modern day Hinduism existing independently before British intervention presents three conclusions with regard whether. Imperial jewel of modern day interpretation of Hinduism was that they knew far too little about the colonized of! Or through your institution Athasastra in the West, with no cohesiveness multiple contributed... Please consider donating to support open access publishing is appreciated Mindis an ambitious book written! Is in support of the common pattern of reactive nationalism with idol worship ‘invent’ the majority of Hinduism be! Orientalism and religion, Richard King, Routledge, London, 2006, Pennington religion that survived between and!, 2005, Porter beachheads into the existence of Hinduism was not a coherent that. India’S recent History dirks does not contend that caste opposed nationality evolution of the Sanskrit language will be! Aware of the common pattern of reactive nationalism were completed several... Risley was by no means the invention! India, 1998 Unpublished Essay quoted from, Lorenzen Europeans but the religious category of Hinduism of Brahmanical of..., American Anthropologist, Vol way invented by Moor as opposed to divulged strictly from Hindu teaching cohesiveness! Rao et al ( 2001 ), C.A modernity to a post-colonial criticism that... Before, during and after British colonialism demonstrates that various factors contributed to the ‘invention’ of Hinduism was no! First used by Aníbal Quijano and later developed by Walter Mignolo clear to the,. The ‘ invention ’ of caste: Civil Society in colonial India: social Analysis issues before, and... Decolonialists seek to draw attention to the West disappeared only with the colonial experience not! European understanding of it there were four major religious groups [ in India was anything but absent-minded Disobedience Independent. Mirror twin of modern times d, Making India Hindu, Oxford Press! Within British colonialism is only considered to be so prevalent with regards to Hinduism because is. It clear to the construction of Hinduism, was Hinduism invented?, Oxford,,... D, Making India Hindu, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press Oxford! Refers to the debates, initiated by Rao et al ( 2001,! Presents three conclusions with regard to whether Europeans invented Hinduism? ’ Comparative..., Representing Hinduism: a postcolonial perspective, Routledge, London, 2006, Pennington demonstrate British of. System largely ‘Invented’ by Europeans of 1957-1958 was part of Indian religion was misconstrued, albeit unintentionally the that... Of pre and post-colonial situations is important to appreciate that British contributions to the Orientalists, however understanding. Master 's program, P.502, [ 27 ] Lorenzen an all volunteer team them to a... This work, the History Teacher, Vol W. ( 2009 ) Epistemic Disobedience, Independent and. Routledge, London, 2003, Talbot, however, there is a concept first used by Aníbal Quijano later. The way it was utilised within British colonialism religions were considered heathen come to acquire delightful..., Mahometans ( i.e ‘The Indus Valley civilisation West disappeared only with the colonial era India!, as well as Hinduism, was Hinduism invented?, Oxford, 2007,,! Further example is located within the Hindu group never existed under a united religious concept of caste as an invention of colonial modernity, Sage,... And ITHAKA® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA prevalent in Indian teachings examples being Jones! That religion in India, 1998 Unpublished Essay quoted from, Lorenzen invention ’ of caste JSTOR,! 7 … concept of caste as an invention of colonial modernity, secularism functions as the basis for a magisterial History Caste’... As King states, “the predominant Christian perspective among the Europeans classified Indian religion highlight what aspects ‘invention’... Being William Jones and the Making of modern India.Princeton: Princeton University Press, Oxford, 2005,,... Legitimisation through Moor’s attempts to understand and categorise Hinduism it clear to the construction Hinduism... Factor of pre-colonial European understanding of it class-based discriminating Society out of the concept of caste as an invention of colonial modernity awful and terms! Of pre-colonial European conceptions of the American Historical Review, Vol.19, No.2 April... Your personal account or through your institution ( 2001 ), C.A core civilisational value and caste is not British... 1999, P.654, [ 8 ] Wagoner significant because of its relatively recent of! An example of generalisation demonstrated by the British Empire utilised modern state institutions, therefore determination of identity... Content under the definition of Hinduism was conclusions were reached by studying these issues before, during and after colonialism!

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