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

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Shudra Identity and Struggle

A Trans Temporal Journey from the Rigveda to the Constitution

The Shudras: Vision for a New Path edited by Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd and Karthik Raja Karuppusamy, New Delhi: Vintage (Penguin Random House), 2021; pp 272, 699.

Who were/are the Shudras is a question that has been puzzling the scholars of social sciences, reformers, and politicians. This question has been mostly approached as a topic of historiography, and the methodology adopted was mostly textual. The Shudra question was and is still dealt mostly by looking back in history and mythology. So almost all the histories and stories about the Shudras start with the Purusha Sukta of the Rigveda and how the Shudras have originated from the feet of Brahma and go on to cite from the Smritis and Puranas.

Doing sociology textually is fine and many times it is also required. As in the case of the famous treatise like Who Were the Shudras? (Ambedkar 1946) and Gulamgiri (Phule 1873), the authors drew heavily from the Hindu religious texts to debunk and demolish certain ideas, which were considered normative and normal at that time.

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Published On : 17th Jan, 2024

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