Imagining India

Imagining India

Ronald Inden
Distribution: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvado
Publication date: 03/22/2001
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-21358-7
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An important book, a major work, that must be read and absorbed by those involved in scholarship, or any critical enterprise." —The Independent

How does the Western world represent India? To what extent is knowledge of the people and institutions of the Indian sub-continent based on the West's own desires for world hegemony, and fantasies about its rationality? In this controversial and widely-praised book, Inden argues that the West's major depictions of India as the civilization of caste, villages, spiritualism, and divine kings—and as a land dominated by imagination rather than reason—have had the effect of depriving Indians of their capacity to rule their world, which has consequently been appropriated by those in the West who wish to dominate it.

First published in 1990, Imagining India is required reading in many university courses. This edition contains a new introduction.

Author Bio

Ronald Inden is Professor of South Asian History at the University of Chicago.

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Table of Contents

Plan of the Book

1 Knowledge of India and Human Agency
Agents: Systems of Overlapping Classes
Orientalist Discourse
2 India in Asia: The Caste Society
The Orients
Empirical, Real India: The Ruling Ideas
Romantic India
Dissenting and Changing Views
3 Hinduism: The Mind of India
Male Manager, Female Jungle: European Science and
Indian Religion
Psychic Origins
Brahmanism, the Aryan Mind in the Tropics
Hinduism, Symbols for the People
Medieval Decline, The Dravidian Mind
Jungians and Structuralists: Today's Variants
Critical Summary
4 Village India, Living Essence of the Ancient
Idyllic Communities
Organic Inside, Atomic Outside
Caste's Political Economy
Nationalist and Post-Independence Depictions
5 Divine Kingship, the Hindu Type of Government
Nation State, Natural State
Absolute Monarchy, Instrument of the Caste
Clan Monarchy, the Post-tribal State
Imperial Monarchy, Western Order int he East
Imperial Death and National Rebirth
Independence and the Discovery of the Third
6 Reconstructions
From Patients to Agents
The Imperial Formation of the Rashtrakutas
Conquering the Quarters

Concluding Remarks