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Transgressing Brahminical Sciolism and Recovering the Resources of Casteless and Anticaste Vernacular Indians

Dr Gajendran Ayyathurai, Anthropologist and Historian, Göttingen, Germany


The Indian republic is marching towards its seventy fifth year. But it is conspicuously evident that there is a local and global academic failure to expose brahminical sciolism: that is, the pretentions of knowledge creation and possession by self-privileging minority caste-groups, such as brahmins. In fact, philosophical and postcolonialist claims about “Brahmanical Systems” and “learned Brahmans” not only stand for exclusionary brahmin-propaganda but also attempt to silence the Deep Resistance against caste. In contrast, Indians who are unconnected with and antithetical to brahmin-power but subordinated and exploited under casteism have retained multiple forms of inclusionary and castefree knowledge traditions, memories, and histories. Understanding the profoundness of casteless and anticaste Indians depends on and calls for, I argue, we recovering their diverse vernacular resources.

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