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This book is very stupid and non-historical. It's written with an aim to malign the people of India. Susan Bayly has not done her research, she is not a scholar but an author who was paid to write a book based on myths and illusions of the priestly caste.

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Fantastic overview discussion with primary sources of the Caste system and its interpretation over the ages.

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Bayly, in her desperation, to blame the British Raj for all the ills of pre-independence India, rides rough-shod over the historical evidence, seemingly to match her pre-conceptions with a strange brand of odd and somewhat suspect ideology.
What's worse is she condemns generations of students who look to Wikipedia for the historical record only to discover this same author edits these articles citing her own work as source material!
Not worth the paper its printed on, avoid.
 

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A VERY poorly-researched text book with regards to caste and society.
* Fails to identify Mughal administrative system in various subas of the Mughal Empire - at all. Hence, paints a poor picture
of how 'caste' labels evolved and become associated with a particular 'status' accurately. I.e. no mention of Khalisa-lands versus Jagirdari-lands, no mention of how mansabdari and faujdari was obtained,
* Fails to mention religious and cultural diversity throughout North India, and how a communities relations/importance-given to Brahmins (community of orthodox hindu priests) affected Varna status in the 16th and 17th century.
* Fails to take into account Ain-I-Akbari land records and inaccurately labels certain castes as nomadic or pastoral when there is clear contemprary evidence that they where settled agrarian landowning communities with a degree of nobility or noble zamindar titles; though not orthodox vedic 'Hindus' by faith.
* many more inaccuracies...
I should also mention that the author of this book (Susan Bayly) goes under the username 'Sitush' in Wikipedia; who enjoys quoting this book in many caste and community related articles (to raise it's academic importance? I can only suspect). Outside of Wikipedia, this book holds no or very little academic value as significant conclusions are drawn solely from opinion of the author.
 

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As an academic who has spent many years learning about the different tribes of the Indian subcontinent, I believe this book to be very misleading and based on very poor-research. This book is incomplete and historically inaccurate, it contradicts many established academically verified historical facts. 

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I read this book just cause of the fact it has been mentioned as reference in Yadav wikipedia page.The whole this is wholy crap.This bitch susan is a foreigner and knows nothing about the holy clan Yadav.Had she read Bhagwad gita she would have known about yadav.This book is just to malign yadav caste because people are jealous of their holy origin and christens want this clan to disappear so that there is only holy blood of jesus.however this stupid woman does not know god is one and he has taken various forms in diff part of the world to remove evils like her.She should be ashamed of herself and her cheap incomplete research. First she should read bhagwat gita, which other caste find its name in bhagwad gita? Its only the holy yadav clan.Since mugal invasion yadav emperors were taken over and slowly with the change in society majority of them took farming...They find mention in OBC cause they were proud of their ancestry and didnt stoop to any level to work for britishers and they did not give more imp to education with changing trend in India.This is how they fought to be included in backward class group to gain advantage.This bool is holy crap. The author has done a lame study and must have met a biased person to come up with this.Her intention is purely to defame great yadavs because it is said that they carry holy blood f god and according to christens jesus is the god and he never married. 

All reviews - 6
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All reviews - 6
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All reviews - 6