This book traces the evolution of a process of interaction between brahmanism and the indigenous social groups of Bengal during the early medieval period. The book argues that the Puranic synthesis in Bengal generated for the first time the necessary cultural resource that enabled the diverse communities to acquire a regional cultural identity. Two significant methodological issues have been addressed--the manner in which didactic Sanskritic texts can be read for the reconstruction of early Indian history, and the application of contemporary anthropological concepts to such texts to help elucidate cultural contestations in pre-modern India. Focussing on Bengal, Chakrabarti examines a civilizational process fundamental to the unfolding of Indian history.Rigorously researched and conceptually rich, this study will become a major reference for all future studies of Hinduism.
About the Author:
KUNAL CHAKRABARTI is Professor of Ancient History at Jawaharlal Nehru Univrsity, New Delhi.