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outside the sphere of Aryavana. For instance, all the four major nationalities of south India (Kerala, Tamil Na4u, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka), have their own history and their own specific features of sodo-economic organization, political organisation, cultural make-up and so on. While it is true that all these nationalities were influenced by the developments in the Aryavaria, the concrete mariner in which they absorbed the socio-cultural and political make up of Aryavarta were specific to each. It is therefore necessary to properly ^balance what the specific features of every nationality with the general features of Aryavarta.
Take, for example Kerala. It was no doubt powerfully influenced by the Vedic culture and civilisation, and Jainism and Buddhism, of the north. Kerala, in fact, was the battle-field in which the struggle between the Vedic culture on the one hand, and the Buddhist and Jainist culture on the other, became acute. This ideological battle seems to me to be the source of many specific aspects of the history and culture of Kerala. Unfortunately, however, scholars have not paid sufficient attention to these conflicts. Nevertheless, there is enough factual material to show that many of the present-day Hindu temples had, at one time, been either Buddhist or Jain viharas. Furious battles appear to have been waged between the Vedic culture on the one hand and the Buddhist and Jain cultures on the other. Most of the present-day high-and low-caste Hindus are perhaps the descendants of the victors and the defeated in that furious conflict, those victorious in the battle having become the present-day high castes, while the defeated were turned into low castes. This is, of course, a hypothesis being proposed by a non-expert student of Kerala history like me. But if it is true, the question of class struggles in ancient and medieval Kerala will appear in a new light.
There is another major failing in Habib's book: it ends with the emergence of British colonialism in Indian history. Habib does not deal with the question of the rise of the new opposing < classes—the bourgeoisie and the working class—who emerged as independent forces in the very process of the crucial class struggle in the days of colonial domination, the freedom struggle.
It will be recalled that Marx in his writings of 1853 had drawn attention to the birth of the Indian bourgeoisie—the consequence of 'the process of re-generation* which, he said, had begun. The younger generations educated in modern arts and sciences in the schools established by the British rulers and such other institutions as the free press filled the ranks of this nascent Indian bourgeoisie. Marx envisaged this process to go on, though he had not yet seen the emergence of the working class. It was left to Lenin decades later to