By Peter Robb
A heritage of India explores the vital issues that unify Indian historical past and gives the reader a cosmopolitan and obtainable view of IndiaвЂ™s dynamics from precedent days, the Mughal Empire, and the British Raj via post-1947 India. The ebook examines Indian politics, spiritual ideals, caste, atmosphere, nationalism, colonialism, and gender, between different concerns. It additionally discusses long term fiscal improvement, the effect of world alternate, and the origins of rural poverty. Peter RobbвЂ™s transparent, fluent narrative explores the interaction among IndiaвЂ™s empires, areas of rule, customs, and ideology, and is a perfect start line for people with an curiosity in IndiaвЂ™s prior and current.
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Extra resources for A History of India
KINGSHIP It used to be supposed that kingly authority was weak in India because priestly authority was strong. This seems to give undue weight to the priestly origin of so many of the sources. Read differently, the sources imply that political power had to be accommodated in the priestly theories. The king’s religious functions were vital – even if not necessary to the performance of ritual, kings had a sacred quality in their persons that was often seasonally and periodically reinforced by ritual, and they had practical importance for Brahmans 36 A HI STORY OF INDIA or other religious orders, especially as the priestly role came to be regarded as properly distinct from the role of the warrior.
Over the last 150 years, increasing production for sale and export has similarly required and facilitated the expansion of capitalist management and modern forms of government. These did not wholly remove overlapping rights but tended to standardize all land into a few general types, governed by scientific measurement or a legal definition which overrode differences of use or ownership: not only distributing what had been common among separate owners or to the state, but also attributing the same legal incidents to a temple or a corporation’s estate as to the land of an individual.
In some senses this must be true, INTRO DUC TION : REG ION AND C IVIL IZAT ION 19 because modern means of labelling, enumerating, organizing and communicating were not available in India until the nineteenth century. But we should not take this too far. The European observers invented the term ‘caste’ and undoubtedly affected Indian practice and understanding; but they did not imagine caste ab initio. They applied a misleading term, compounding at least two different concepts, but they did so to describe social behaviour which they had generally encountered.