ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Identity Formation

Identity Formation Forming an Identity: A Social History of the Jats by Nonica Datta; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, pp viii+228, index and bibliography,

A a sign of modern times, caste identities are freeing themselves from the traditional caste system and becoming focal points of political assertions and mobilisations. It is hard to be certain whether caste as a system exercised its sway in a textbook fashion in pre-modern India, but there is little doubt that the subjugation of the many to the few was rarely challenged in a closed village economy.

The extent to which modern India has witnessed the growing of caste identities that squarely oppose the presumptions of brahminocentric renditions of the caste system is most impressive. Castes that had hitherto been unchallenged for centuries and enjoyed the status of being twice born now find the situation far from congenial on a variety of fronts.

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