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Seeking Begumpura

Seeking Begumpura

  • Author: Gail Omvedt
  • Publisher: Navayana
  • ISBN: 9788189059453
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The bhakti radical Ravidas (c 1450–1520), calling himself a ‘tanner now set free’, was the first to envision an Indian utopia in his song “Begumpura”—a modern casteless, classless, tax-free city without sorrow. This was in contrast to the dystopia of the brahmanical kaliyuga. Anticaste intellectuals in India posited utopias much before Thomas More, in 1516, articulated a Renaissance humanist version.

Gail Omvedt, in this study, focuses on the worldviews of subaltern visionaries spanning five centuries—Chokhamela, Janabai, Kabir, Ravidas, Tukaram, the Kartabhajas, Phule, Iyothee Thass, Pandita Ramabai, Periyar and Ambedkar. She charts the development of their utopian visions and the socioeconomic characteristics of the societies conceived through this long period.

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caste / Gail Omvedt / indian / nonfiction / politics /