Re: [OPE-L] Caste system- surplus woman question

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Thu Feb 15 2007 - 06:04:31 EST

I have read through 'Marx on Caste' which you suggest, and started on
'Buddha is not Enough, Ambedkar is not enough either, Marx is a Must'. I
am enjoying reading it. It is good knockabout stuff in its criticisms of
Ambedkar which seem mostly fair. The one I am not sure about is her
criticism of Ambedkars analysis of Sati.


He explained this as arising from the attempt by the Brahmins to
mainatain endogamy. Widows, as surplus women, he claimed, would have
endangered this by potentially marrying into other casts, there being no
men of their own caste available to marry. Ranganayakamma replies 'what
about the surplus men', could the widows not have married widowers?


I don't think this is an altogether valid criticism of Ambedkar since
male life expectancy being less than female life expectancy, society
tends to have more widows than widowers. One also has to take into
account the statistical effect of living in small village communities.
In such communities the likelihood of surplus men and surplus women
balancing, even with equal life expectancies would be rare. Some
communities would have more Brahmin widowers some would have more
widows. But even if we grant that Ambedkar had identified a real problem
for the upper castes, Sati would not have been the only institution that
could have been arrived at to maintain endogamy: tolerance of polygamy
and polyandry would also deal with the occurrences of surpluses of men
or women of a particular cast.



From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On Behalf Of B.R.Bapuji
Sent: 14 February 2007 15:11
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Caste system


Comrade Jerry,

May I suggest two more references relating to 'Caste question'?

One is a book and another an article. Both are by Ranganayakamma and I
did the translation (into Indian English).

Title of the book:

IS NOT ENOUGH EITHER, MARX IS A MUST! This is an English translation of
Ranganayakamma's Telugu book which underwent five editions so far and is
ready to go for sixth print since 2000. [The English version is in paper
back, pages 421, price:$10. postage free.]

Title of the article:

MARX ON CASTE. This is also a translation of a Telugu article which
Ranganayakamma wrote and appended to the Telugu version of her book. The
English version of the article is available in the website

You have to look under 'Articles'.
This is for information of those who might be interested in the caste



glevy@PRATT.EDU wrote:

        Paul C:
        The above is a links page for sources on caste, including
        against caste, in India and elsewhere. Includes both Marxian and
        non-Marxian sources.
        In solidarity, Jerry

B.R.Bapuji, Professor,
Centre for Applied Linguistics & Translation Studies,
University of Hyderabad, Central University post office,
HYDERABAD-500 046. (Phone:91-40-23133650 or 23010161).
Residence address:
76, Lake-side Colony, [End of Road opposite to Madapur Police
Station],Jubilee Hills post, Hyderabad-500033.
(Phone: 91-40-23117302)



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