chapter  2
15 Pages

Early Colonial Period

The colonial authorities in the beginning were concerned chiefly with landholding and land revenue collection, and, therefore, village became quite an important object of observation and study. The early colonial period fairly elaborates down-to-earth the accounts of people, cultures, traditions and living conditions that were prepared by James Browne, Henry Thomas Colebrooke, Francis Buchanan and others, which are very valuable from the points of view of historical sociology/anthropology. Their observations indicate in clear terms that caste identity was not considered relevant to the pursuit of secular activities. The textual correlation between caste and occupation had virtually no space in social reality that was prevailing; and the socio-economic categories of people were virtually free from caste/varna consideration. The colonial authorities since the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century began their project of generating as well as patronizing the knowledge of Indian social reality in terms of caste and Brahmanism.