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The Hindu EquilibriumIndia c.1500 B.C. - 2000 A.D.$
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Deepak Lal

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199275793

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199275793.001.0001

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Hindu India

Hindu India

(p.20) 2 Hindu India
The Hindu Equilibrium

Deepak Lal (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the historical evolution of the caste system as well as its major features. It then examines its probable rationale, continuing relevance, and possible economic effects. It argues that the institution of caste — independent of the government and with social ostracism as its most severe sanction — was a powerful factor in the survival of Hinduism.

Keywords:   caste system, sect, land tenure, village communities, cultural stability, political instability, Hinduism

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