Brahmanism In India

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GEOGRAPHICAL CONTEXT: India is a huge part of South Asia. Although it is separated from the rest of the continent by the Himalayan mountain range in the north and big deserts in the west, it is also an important part of the continental history. At a time when Mesopotamian cultures were at their peak, as literary and urban culture, India too had a literal and urban society. Because of its suitable environment for human life, it had always been a center for becoming civilized, but in a process it has become a more and more center for caste and sexual violence on Dalits and Dalit women. It is a society with various evil forces that had an important effect directly or indirectly over the other civilizations in Asia or outside Asian societies,…show more content…
There is a vast literature on caste, and also on caste and gender. Here, I shall focus on the writing that is pertinent to the present discussion. Brahmanism is said to hold to the theory of varma, with the Brahmans at the top of the society and the Sudras at the lowest end. This is depicted as an ‘ideal division’ with its own logic (which Louis Dumont associated with dharma) with many beneficial aspects which have sustained Hindu civilization over the centuries. It is argued that low caste groups, and particularly Dalits, internalized such values and largely accepted their subjugation as natural and rightful . This approach was found in modified forms in some nationalist constructions that sought to valorize caste not in terms of its hierarchy, but in terms of its non-competitive division of labor that helped to dissolve class strife, and its creation of a strong civic life that allowed for a healthy dispersal of authority and a strong civil society…show more content…
Brahmanism and high caste nationalism - it is said - tends to locate the caste system in a pristine golden age, rather than in terms of the reality of its contemporary working. It downplays the oppressive nature of the system and its strong patriarchy . Rather, the emphasis is on the unity of the nation state under the leadership of high caste nationalists. From such a perspective, centrifugal forces are seen to weaken the national integrity of India. Gerald Berreman has argued about the Brahmanical understanding that: ‘Such conjectures are an escape on the part of the upper castes who are interested in maintaining and enjoying their hegemony .They fail to take into account the history of the radical struggles of Dalits and other anti-Brahmanical groups such as the Ad- Dharmis in Punjab the Adi-Dravidas in Madras, the Adi-Andhras in Hyderabad, the Adi-Kamatakas in Mysore, and the Adi-Hindus in the Hindu belt. These were some of the radical strands that emerged in opposition to the Brahmanism of the mainstream nationalist movement during the early years of the twentieth

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