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

CLEARING THE FORESTS

CLEARING THE FORESTS- Between 1000 and 500 bce iron tools and weapons provided the technological foundations  for  the  expansion  of  agricultural  communities  over  the  entire basin  of  the  Ganges.  One  important  consequence  of  the  replacement  of copper  and  bronze  implements  by  stronger  iron  weapons  and  tools  was  the greater  ease  in  removing  the  forest  cover … Read more

THE UPANISHADS

THE UPANISHADS- Along with the sacred, domestic and philosophical hymns, an ancillary canon came into existence as a comment upon them. There were three later Vedas: the Sama, Yajur and Atharva Vedas, dealing respectively with liturgical verses to be sung, with magical incantations to be pronounced, and with sacrificial formulae to guide the ritualists. Manuals … Read more

VEDIC CULTURE

VEDIC CULTURE:- The vedic age has carried several different labels: ‘iron age India’, ‘the second urbanization’, and ‘Gangetic culture’; each can be justified, though the designation ‘vedic culture’ points to the main trajectory of historical development. It is now widely accepted that the subcontinent began to be infiltrated well before  the  middle  of  the  first … Read more

HARAPPAN COMMERCE

HARAPPAN COMMERCE- If the notion of a centralized autocracy has been rejected, the degree of com- mercial activity involving cities and towns of the northwest is only now begin- ning to be adequately appreciated. Evidence from the cities of the Indus basin that have been extensively excavated indicates large populations of craftsmen producing commodities that … Read more

THE HARAPPAN STATE AND SOCIETY

THE HARAPPAN STATE AND SOCIETY- It is this culture to which the now rejected paradigm outlined above pertains. Much  has  been  learned  about  Harappan  settlements  in  recent  years. The number of known sites is now over 400 in a 1000 square mile triangle of the northwest. While  few  if  any  scholars  currently  support  the  idea … Read more

HISTORIAN’S CHOICE

As already implied by the notion that a book like this could and perhaps should be written or read from the present to the past, it should be taken not as a recording of events as they sequentially unfolded in real time but rather as an accounting. In the first instance, it is an account … 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

STATES WITHOUT COMMUNITIES; COMMUNITIES AS COMMUNALISM

By the later nineteenth century, after the great Mutiny of 1857, British policy was set to undermine the territorial basis of communities. This was accom- plished partly by converting erstwhile locality chieftains into dependent land- lords, breaking any that resisted the change; partly by atomizing previous territorial unities; partly by legal changes to individuate what … Read more