Aryans, Jews, Brahmins: Launch of Dorothy Figueira's book

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Aryans, Jews, Brahmins unmasks fictions about race, caste and origins and tells us how our fractured present consists of competing pasts. As the Aryan myth is resuscitated today in the service of Hindu revival, this work of impeccable scholarship assumes urgency. 

Author Dorothy M. Figueira will be in conversation with scholars Tanika Sarkar and Braj Ranjan Mani on Friday, 13 March, 7:00 pm at Amaltas, India Habitat Centre. All are welcome.

The book examines the works of European (Voltaire, Schlegel, Max Müller, Nietzsche) and Indian (Rammohan Roy, Dayananda Saraswati, Tilak, Vivekananda) thinkers who built an ideology of the Aryan out of mis-readings of “Aryan” texts, starting with the Veda. In both the East and the West, the search for “original” India became bound up with a search for a superior race living in an unchanging utopian past. Figueira then looks with hope to Phule and Ambedkar who subverted this ‘nationalist’ script in their portrait of the anti-Aryan. 

‘The book is pertinent both to the continuing historical debate about the Aryans, and to current politics in India’—Romila Thapar

‘Helps the reader grasp why casteist and racist double standards in India and Euro-America still enjoy tremendous intellectual respectability’—Braj Ranjan Mani, author of Debrahminising History

‘Figueira also studies alternatives to these myths … among dalit intellectuals whose endeavors are rarely understood or acknowledged adequately in historical scholarship’—Tanika Sarkar, author of Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation: Community, Religion, and Cultural Nationalism

‘A valuable resource for cultural historians’ —Gauri Viswanathan, Columbia University

‘Upfront, engaging, thought-provoking’—The German Quarterly

‘A brilliantly argued book… essential to understanding Indo-European history’— The Journal of Asian Studies

Buy—only on the Navayana website. Rs 250


  • jagdish singh says:

    time is long overdue to not only challenge the ‘brahaminical intellectual hegemony’ but to overturn it based it is as on mythology fed through generations as part of a design to ensure cultural domination over dalits and backwards. a sustained and research based writing is required for achieving this ‘freedom’

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