महामांस विक्रय (Sale of human flesh) in Sanskrit Literature

In the हर्षचरित of बाणभट्ट, one of most surprising references which one can find is of महामांस विक्रय and its connection with Mahakaal. Had it been an isolated event recorded in Sanskrit literature, it could have been ignored but as S K Dikshit* has shown in his paper, there are other references of the practiceContinue reading “महामांस विक्रय (Sale of human flesh) in Sanskrit Literature”

Privatization of Russian Economy: What Went Wrong?

Emergence of Russian economy after the collapse of Soviet Union and how the Chicago school economists ruined the Russian economy by promoting the ideas of free market economy is quite popular amongst the people who neither understand market economy nor Soviet planned economy. I’ll try to summarize the key factors associated with this transition andContinue reading “Privatization of Russian Economy: What Went Wrong?”

Beadabi: Blasphemy in Sikhism and Its Politics

The recent incident in which Nihangs brutally killed a man for the alleged sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib (GGS), the Nihangs justified their action by saying that it was an apt punishment for the crime of ‘Beadabi (बेअदबी)’ of their sacred book. A lot of people expressed their concern saying whether Sikhs had brought theirContinue reading “Beadabi: Blasphemy in Sikhism and Its Politics”

King as Divine in Mahabharata

The concept of considering king as divine or representation of divine finds its strongest suport in Hindu Polity in Mahabharata. In Hindu Polity, Manusmriti is the another text which affirms the king to be divine while Acharya Kautalya’s Arthashastra doesn’t accept the concept of king being divine in nature. Rather, it suggests the spies toContinue reading “King as Divine in Mahabharata”

Temple Priesthood: The Fallacy of Egalitarian and Meritocratic Arguments

The recent event of DMK government in Tamilanadu appointing 24 government trained people as archaka-s in Hindu temples has been advertised as a move to open the opportunity of priesthood to everyone irrespective of the caste which will end the monopoly of Brahmins on priesthood. In India, citing the reason of reducing the dominance ofContinue reading “Temple Priesthood: The Fallacy of Egalitarian and Meritocratic Arguments”

Patrilocal and Matrilocal Custom: Gender Discrimination or Pragmatism?

Feminists are often found to have serious issues with the patrilocal societies in which the girl moves to her husband’s place after the marriage. In their worldview, it’s a sexist and discriminatory practice in which a girl is expected to act differently compared with what a boy is supposed to do. Not content with criticisingContinue reading “Patrilocal and Matrilocal Custom: Gender Discrimination or Pragmatism?”

The Problem of Knowledge in Primitive and Civilised Society

The problem of knowledge in human civilization is a central problem which appears difficult to solve owing to our limited cognitive abilities, but we overcome the limitation as civilizations evolve and particular type of institutions emerge to solve the problem. In fact, we can try to study the differences between a primitive and civilised societyContinue reading “The Problem of Knowledge in Primitive and Civilised Society”

A Primer on Yajmani System

The peculiar feature of Indian society in which Jati (caste) system was the fundamental modal of socioeconomic organisation, its sustenance in the rural areas could only be ensured by Yajmani (also spelled Jajmani) system which was intricately intertwined with Jati system. In Yajmani system, the Jatis which were engaged in providing different services and productsContinue reading “A Primer on Yajmani System”

Equality of Opportunity: An Introduction – I

Amongst the many concepts of equality, probably the most widely known and accepted concept of equality is ‘equality of opportunity’. Equality of opportunity in the fundamental sense means a type of society in which all the positions available in the society should be open to everyone and the means to occupy that position should alsoContinue reading “Equality of Opportunity: An Introduction – I”

Communism and Equality

In Communist framework, the concept of equality is central to the goal of communist society, but this equality is different from any other form of equality we know. Communists don’t refer to political equality where people have equal political rights, legal equality as in being equal before the law or even equality of outcomes whereContinue reading “Communism and Equality”