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Contesting claims over the past: Differing perceptions of elite and Dalit historians in India
Published in Fabrizio Serra Editore
Volume: 91
Pages: 67 - 80
The ideas of ‘Indianness’ and nation which formed part of the 19 th century elite nationalist discourse remained essentially exclusivist in terms of character and ideational preferences. What came to be defined as the nation represented a cultural-spiritual space constructed solely by the upper caste imagination of distinct territorial and cultural spatial zones. In this essay I argue that despite mechanisms to protect the Brahminical social order, there were radical histories written by prominent lower caste intellectuals with a zeal to bring about social transformation. The writings of Jyotirao Phule, Iyothee Thoss, B.R. Ambedkar and M. C. Rajah reveal that this sort of radicalism which attempted at a reordering of the disciplinary spaces of history and sociology and the rediscovery of their roots in the anti-Brahminical ideologies, Lokayatas, Charvakas, Jainism, Buddhism and in the later-day Bhakti movements. © Copyright by Fabrizio Serra editore, Pisa, Roma.
About the journal
JournalRivista degli Studi Orientali
PublisherFabrizio Serra Editore