ARYAN SOCIAL DIFFERENTIATION

ARYAN SOCIAL DIFFERENTIATION- By later vedic times – that is, between 1000 and 500 bce, when the sacrificial cult of Indo-Aryan brahmans had attained a prestigious place – the main locus of Aryan society had shifted from the river valleys of the Punjab and the plains of  northern  Rajasthan  into  the  western  parts  of  the … Read more

FROM AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITIES TO URBAN CONFIGURATIONS

FROM AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITIES TO URBAN CONFIGURATIONS- Mehrgarh’s  seventh  millennium  bce  occupants  made  buildings  of  several rooms for habitation and storage out of mud-brick; they made stone tools for harvesting  the  barley  and  wheat  they  cultivated  and  for  shaping  ornaments out of local as well as imported substances; they buried their dead and interred tools and … Read more

THE ‘MESOPOTAMIAN CONNECTION’

THE ‘MESOPOTAMIAN CONNECTION’- The microlithic tool-makers who settled at a place now called Mehrgarh,   in the Bolan River basin in Baluchistan, initiated a new phase of human organization in India which has shattered all previous beliefs about early society there. From the first forays by European scholars into Indian prehis- tory during the late nineteenth … Read more

THE PRE-FORMATION OF INDIAN CIVILIZATION

Human communities are thought to have inhabited the Indian subcontinent for 500,000 years, according to stone age sites found scattered between the far south of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Soan and Beas river valleys in northern Punjab, and from one coast to the other; estimates of dates for some of these range between … Read more

FULL CIRCLE: THE OPPRESSED APPEAL TO RELIGION

Unnoticed until quite recently have been other voices who have also resorted to a religious idiom to press their appeals for justice. These groups were sub- ordinate to, and victims of, that petty bourgeoisie which had succeeded in making religious communalism their ideology, just as the professional bour- geoisie made secularism theirs. In an era … Read more

THE SEGMENTARY STATE

I disagree with this Eurocentric political formulation. Colonial subjugation during the eighteenth century altered and may have distorted the trajectory of state formation in India, but even before the imposition of British domi- nance, and very likely as a precondition of that dominance, relations between states and historic urban and rural communities had changed irreversibly. … Read more