Kshatriyaization and social change: A Study in Orissa setting

Kulke, Hermann

In: Pillai, S. Devadas (Hrsg.): Aspects of Changing India: Studies in Honour of Prof. G. S. Ghurye. Bombay, Popular Prakashan 1976, pp. 398-409

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In his famous book "Religion and Society among the Coorgs of South India" M. N. Srinivas in 1952, for the first time, used the term "Sanskritization" in a way which has very much influenced the course of social anthropological research. He states: "The caste system is far from a rigid system in which the position of each component caste is fixed for all time. Movement has always been possible, and especially so in the middle regions of the hierarchy. A low caste was able, in a generation or two, to rise to a higher position in the hierarchy by adopting vegetarianism and teetotalism, and by Sanskritizing its ritual and pantheon. In short, it look over, as far as possible, the customs, rites and beliefs of the Brahmins and the adoption of the Brahminic way of life by a low caste seems to have been frequent, though theoretically forbidden. This process has been called 'Sanskritization' in this book, in preference to 'Brahminization', as certain Vedic rites are confined to Brahmins and the two other 'twice-born' castes. The tendency of the lower castes to imitate the higher has been a powerful factor in the spread of Sanskritic ritual and customs, and in the achievement of a certain amount of cultural uniformity not only throughout the caste scale, but over the entire length and breadth of India."

Document type: Book Section
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2017
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Geography and history
Controlled Keywords: Orissa, Kaste, Sozialer Wandle
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sozialer Wandel, Kastenwesen, Orissa, Indien / Social Change, Caste System, Orissa, India
Subject (classification): History and Archaeology
Religion and Philosophy
Countries/Regions: India
Series: Personen > Schriften von Hermann Kulke
Volume: 8