International Handbook on Race and Race Relations

By Jay A. Sigler | Go to book overview

INDIA

Raj S. Gandhi

Since India is a multicultural, multicaste, multilinguistic and multireligious society, the clarification of the terms "race" and "race relations" in India may be extremely difficult. However much one may like to avoid the problem altogether or dismiss the problem as irrelevant, still one must explain the group tensions that have existed in India for centuries.


A RACIAL CONTEXT

We cannot understand the reality of "race" and "race relations" in India without at once coming to grips with caste as one of the most fundamental categories of social differentiation and division in India. Social scientists, though aware that caste and race cannot be confused, do not preclude that the members of the upper castes may exhibit racelike behavioral characteristics in their interactions with the low and the very low castes, and conversely, that in South Africa and Southern United States, Negro-white relations may reflect many castelike characteristics. Here, one should not confuse similarity with identity. However, an immediate question of importance within the Indian context is to find out how caste came to be identified with race. It might also be asked whether in the earlier period of the formation of caste, there was any correlation between the two and how race affects the patterns of interactions in contemporary India. For this purpose, we will briefly examine the racial theory of the origin of caste.


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: CASTE-RACE CONNECTION

It is not merely a matter of historical accident that a racial factor was a major contributor to the origin of caste in India. Nonetheless, some

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International Handbook on Race and Race Relations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Notes xviii
  • AUSTRALIA 1
  • Bibliography 20
  • BRAZIL 23
  • Notes 36
  • Notes 39
  • CANADA 43
  • Notes 59
  • Notes 63
  • FIJI Ralph Premdas 67
  • Notes 97
  • Notes 99
  • FRANCE 101
  • Bibliography 112
  • INDIA 117
  • Bibliography 126
  • JAPAN 129
  • Bibliography 152
  • MALAYSIA 155
  • Notes 163
  • Notes 164
  • NETHERLANDS 167
  • Notes 187
  • Notes 189
  • NEW ZEALAND 191
  • Notes 209
  • Notes 211
  • SINGAPORE 213
  • Notes 229
  • Notes 230
  • SOUTH AFRICA 233
  • Notes 258
  • Bibliography 261
  • SUDAN 263
  • Notes 278
  • Notes 279
  • SWITZERLAND 281
  • Notes 296
  • Notes 298
  • THAILAND Suchitra Punyaratabandhu-Bhakdi and Juree Vichit-Vadakdan 301
  • Notes 318
  • Notes 319
  • TRINIDAD 321
  • Notes 333
  • Notes 335
  • UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS 339
  • Notes 362
  • Notes 367
  • UNITED KINGDOM 369
  • Notes 390
  • Bibliography 393
  • UNITED STATES 395
  • Notes 416
  • Notes 420
  • WEST GERMANY 423
  • Notes 440
  • Notes 443
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 449
  • APPENDIX: RACIAL/ETHNIC DIVISIONS 455
  • Index 467
  • ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS 479
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