- Hardcover: 492 pages
- Publisher: Sage India; 1 edition (17 January 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8132105141
- ISBN-13: 978-8132105145
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,00,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Nandanar's Children: The Paraiyans' Tryst with Destiny, Tamil Nadu 1850 - 1956 (Studies in Modern Indian History) Hardcover – 17 Jan 2011
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The author is to be complimented for taking up a pioneering and path breaking study of the history and politics of the Parayan’s community from 1850-1956…[The book] is based on extensive research into historical, political, ethnographic and other source of information available in different part of Tamil Nadu, New Delhi and elsewhere…. [The Author] has written an excellent book which needs careful study by those specialising in the area of the politics and sociology of depressed communities in India.(Social Change)
The book is a contribution to the domain of subaltern history and it states without an open claim that the historians should depend, primarily on archival sources. The use of varied and rich archival materials and chronicles in the book establishes this claim. [It] takes its academic credibility while historicizing a lower caste political movement. [It] is placing before us the warp and woof of the political history of the subaltern people… [It] points to the changing faces of caste-politics in the Indian political scenario.(eSocial Science)
This 400-page book, based on intensive research and fieldwork in Tamil Nadu, has used lot of archived materials and government reports and documents to substantiate its argument… This book will be a useful guide not only to social scientists and researchers but also to laymen who are interested in understanding Dalit movements.(The Sunday India)
About the Author
Raj Sekhar Basu is Reader, Department of History, University of Calcutta. Prior to his present appointment, he was Lecturer in the Department of History, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. He has also been Visiting Scholar to the Department of History, Uppsala University; Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Department of History, Osmania University.
Dr Basu has been awarded many fellowships including Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Faculty Research Fellowships, Charles Wallace Travel Grants, Wellcome Trust Travel Grants and the Fulbright Seminar Grant, among others.
He has published papers in various reputed journals such as the Indian Historical Review, Studies in History, Contemporary Perspectives in History and Sociology, Seminar, Gandhi Marg, Social Science Probings, Social Scientist and Calcutta Historical Journal.
He has also contributed chapters in volumes published by leading international publishers. He has edited a volume and a monograph on Dalit history.
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Top customer reviews
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This book gives the understanding of older times very well. This book captures the struggle of Indian SLAVES raising to get there basic rights.
Thanks for publishing such a enlightening book.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The system of land ownership was critical to maintain the servitude of the Paraiyan community. Basu documents the oppressive mirasidar system by which the upper caste communities maintained their dominance in the agrarian sector especially in areas where the land was fertile. Even though the British issued Government Orders in 1892 that suggested the distribution of waste lands among Paraiyans, it remained ambivalent in its implementation. The British officers did not favor redistribution of land. Rather, they focused on the education of the Paraiyan community, in favor of Christian missionaries who also focused on education. Even when there were supportive officers among the British, the upper caste groups constantly engaged in actions that prevented landless Paraiyan laborers from acquiring lands. Most of the redistributed land, if any, was arid. While the author is doubtful about slavery being an established practice, he points to documentation that suggests the existence of slavery in Tamil Nadu. While I have read about caste based bonded labor, especially through agriculture, this is the first time that I have read about caste as a practice of slavery where human beings were auctioned for a price.
In the chapter on Paraiyans’ entry into politics, Basu draws attention to various Paraiyan intellectuals such as Iyothee Thoss, who was instrumental in the anti-caste movement in 1894. The Paraiyans also published a community mouthpiece known as The Paraiyan to spread their messages. Iyothee Thoss argued that Paraiyans were the original Buddhists and took on the descriptor 'Adi-Dravida'. He argued that Paraiyans must convert back to Buddhism to escape the brutal caste system of Hinduism. In the later years, several "depressed class" conferences were also held to bring in cohesion and solidarity among the different factions among Paraiyans, such as Madras Scheduled Caste Federation and other groups.
For a book as long as this, I thought I would skim through large sections of the book. I would have done so, if only it wasn't written so well. I found myself reading even the footnotes. I was so glad that I landed at this book accidentally. I loved it right from its title, Nandanar's Children, which refers to a Dalit saint, whom the Paraiyans consider as their forefather. Nandanar's Children is a fascinating read. Don't miss it!