Author: Prabhati Mukerjee
Publisher: Indian Institute of Advanced Study
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8179860027
Much has been written and discussed about the untouchables in contemporary India but almost nothing about their emergence, visibility and eventual degradation in society. The present study undertakes the ardous task of finding out form hitherto unexplored bibliographical sources the relevant questions like, who were the most powerful people; when, why and how could they bring others under their control?
It starts with the Rgveda, the earlier written materials regarding India and attempts to describe the emergence, crystallization and ultimate discrimination of untouchables in India. The study continues up to c AD 200 when the exact Sanskrit word asprsya appeared for untouchables replacing other words like unclean, impure, etc.
In this edition several topics have been discussed with more details. Comparison has also been made with similar phenomena in other countries to show that untouchability in India was not unusual. What however was unusual is that with untouchability becoming a taboo it became viable and therefore more difficult to eradicate from society.
Preface to the Second Edition
Conflict, Cooperation and Coexistence materials from sacred literature
Identification, Rejection and Segregation
Materials from sacred and technical, non-Hindu and non-Indian source
(a) Evidence from sacred and technical literature
(b) Evidence from non-Hindu sources
( C) Evidence from non-Indian sources
Where and how did they live?