Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-century Punjab

Jones, Kenneth
University of California Press
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From "The major focus of this book is on modernising movements -- social, religious and cultural -- among Punjabi Hindus from the 1860s through World War I. The Arya Samaj, one such movement, dominates the volume, as it dominated a half-century of change in the Punjab. Prof. Jones begins with an account of the earliest individual attempts of reformers to adapt their cultural traditions to the new world of the British Empire. He examines the development of new ideologies, the creation of group consciousness based on them, and the resultant expression of an overt Hindu politics. He demonstrates that the process underlying cultural interaction between the British and Punjabi Hindus, beginning in a particularistic manner, found expression by the twentieth century in the demands of a politicised Hindu elite. He also delineates the pattern of communal conflict among Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs and the dynamics of the British Raj that contributed to this conflict. Existing historiography on modern South Asia generally deals with either British imperial history or nationalist political history. Prof. Jones is concerned instead with religious, cultural, political and social developments within the world of South Asians. To illuminate them he draws on a wide range of sources: tracts, pamphlets, institutional records, unpublished manuscripts, government documents, periodicals, memoirs and autobiographies in Hindi, Urdu, and English as well as materials in Sanskrit and Punjabi."