INDIAN CASTE (in 2 Vols.) – [VOL.1 – What Caste Is,VOL.2 – What the Castes Are]
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INDIAN CASTE (in 2 Vols.)
VOL.1 – What Caste Is
VOL.2 – What the Castes Are
John Wilson’s celebrated work is on the doctrine and practice of caste in India that was published posthumously in 1877. Pride of ancestry, of family and personal position and occupation, and of religious pre-eminence which is the grand characterstic of “caste”, is not peculiar to India. But it was in India that the caste system exhibited it’s most fearful and pernicious development. While in its original form the system may have lent strength and stability to Hindu society, it later degenerated into a stranglehold of the worst kind and became, in the author’s words, “the curse of India and paretn of India’s woes”.
In this work the author examines the origin, development, character and results of the caste in India. The book which is based on the labour of about 20 years is in two volumes.
Volume I entitled “What Caste is” contains a comprehensive discussion of the institution of the caste as it is set forth and as it lated evolved, in ancient Hindu texts from the Vedas to the Puranas, and also as it was viewed by early Buddhist and Greek writers.
Volume II entitled “What the Castes Are” deals with the Brahmanical or the priestly caste that comes on the top of the caste heirarchy, in all its bewildering variety.
John Wilsonwas the honorary President of the Bombay branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bombay.