The Caste System

January 27, 2010by

Most societies and cultures have one way or another of dividing people into classes, levels of being, or qualitatively distinct sets. Nowhere is this more clear than in India, where what is referred to as the caste system has fairly well weathered every storm of criticism and attempt at reform that has come its way.

In the following talk, Mridu Rais, Associate Professor in the History Department at Yale university, discusses her recent research in Bihar, India, which explores the relationships between caste, territory, region, and nation as they developed in the period of British colonial rule, and continue to evolve in the postcolonial era. Rais’ research focuses on the problems of religion, politics and protest in modern Kashmir. She wrote a book on the subject entitled Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights and the History of Kashmir, published in 2004 (@Amazon).