ISBN 9788121505291,Mlecchas In Early India: A Study In Attitudes Towards Outsiders Upto Ad 600

Mlecchas In Early India: A Study In Attitudes Towards Outsiders Upto Ad 600

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ISBN 9788121505291

Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd

Publication Year 1991

ISBN 9788121505291

ISBN-10 8121505291

Hard Back

Number of Pages 364 Pages
Language (English)


Mlecchas in Early India is about understanding socio-cultural interactions in early India. It has hitherto been argued that ancient Indians kept aloof from the outside world and from the indigenous tribal populations in an attempt to maintain their cultural exclusiveness. In this book we counter the general assumption that Indian society was static and unchanging in its attitudes towards outsiders. This has been done by fully elucidating the concept of the mlecchas in early Indian literature. In its comprehensive sense it has been shown that this term was applied by both foreigners and indigenous tribes of the sub-continent in varying degrees of flexibility, and not always in an opprobrious manner. This open-endedness in its applicability as a designation has raised for us the fundamental question of analysis in this book namely, understanding the criteria of exclusion adopted by the elite system of knowledge that believed in its inherent superiority. Nonetheless, the antithesis between 'Us' the 'civilized' and 'Them' the 'barbaric' was never rigid. We argue ultimately that despite the permanent existence of the idea of the mleccha as an alien in early India, the process of exclusion was fundamentally a historical process which allowed for these elements to be absorbed into the mainstream of Indian society from time to time. In fact, it was by definition of the 'Self' that the 'Other' were being excluded and we concluded that the reason why the 'Us' as the aryas were continually defining themselves is because the 'Them' as the mlecchas were being continually incorporated.

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