La negación de las castas

La deconstrucción es un instrumento intelectual que ha hecho furor en las universidades de Occidente. Ahora está ejerciendo su influjo sobre los países en desarrollo, haciendo una poderosa movida para reescribir el pasado de la India, como sugiere Deepak Lal.

La historia antigua y medieval de la India es notoriamente maleable. Los nacionalistas hindúes del país han desatado la última locura acerca de la naturaleza del pasado de la India. Rechazan la visión, ampliamente aceptada y basada en textos sagrados tempranos, de que los creyentes antiguos no prohibieron matar el ganado, y que esa prohibición probablemente pasó a ser parte del código moral hindú sólo alrededor de los siglos quinto y sexto D.C., cuando se escribieron los últimos Puranas.

El problema con llegar a conclusiones definitivas acerca de este u otros aspectos polémicos del pasado distante de la India es que, a diferencia de China, hay pocos registros históricos objetivos en los que se pueda confiar. Existe cierta evidencia arqueológica, pero las principales fuentes para conocer la India antigua son los testimonios literarios transmitidos oralmente y que se remontan al Rigveda (alrededor de 1500-1300 A.C.), y los registros subjetivos de los viajeros extranjeros. La historia social de la India antigua, como admite un estudioso, ``parece una cadena de conjeturas y especulaciones''.

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