UPSC : Social Conditions UPSC Notes | EduRev
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Rapid changes took place in the social conditions during this period.
- The four castes of the Vedic period continued. Three others are mentioned in the foreign records of the period—the royal caste, Chandalas and the Lahud.
- The Lahuds were probably wandering tribes were fond of amusements and games of skill.
- Al-Beruni brackets the Brahmanas and Kshatriyas on the one hand, and the Vaishyas and the Shudras on the other.
- He further says that these groups lived together not only in towns and villages but also the same house in spite of wide differences between them.
- It was in this period that the Kayasthas came into prominence as the writer caste.
- There was rigidity in respect of caste occupation. The Brahmanas were engaged in professions which did not belong them.
- For example, some of them took agriculture. What is true of the Brahmanas is true of the other three castes, as well as the mixed castes.
- Vaishyas and Shudras became rulers of big kingdoms. Kshatriyas took trade.
- The idea of untouchability was gaining ground. A twice-born man, on seeing a Shudra, was required stop performing his rite. On touching him, he must take a bath. However, the Shudras right to personal freedom was recognised.
- It is said that the bodies of Shudras, Vaishyas, Kshatriya and Brahmanas were the carried out of the city through different gates.
- With regard tforeign races that had settled in India, the records reveal that most of them were assimilated within the Hindu social system.
- Thus the Hunas and the Parihars or Pratihars found a place among the thirty six Rajput clans.
- We dnot have much information about slavery.
- The law books recommended a humane treatment of the slave and his family.
- In south India, temples purchased slaves. Slave trade was alsknown.
Position of Women
- Women were required to be obedient their husbands and were the guarded by all their male relations of all times.
- Yet we find women belonging tupper classes in certain regions playing an important part in administration.
- In countries like Kashmir, women acted as rulers.
- In Karnataka, they served as provincial governors.
- As regards marriage rules, intermarriages of twice-born men with girls of other varnas were prohibited.
- The intermarriage of a Brahmana with a Kshatriya or a Vaishya girl was made exceptional.
- In the case of marriages in the natural order (Anuloma), the son took the caste of the mother and in the case of the other types of marriages (Pratiloma), the son took the caste of his father.
- Pratiloma connections had long been banned. Marriage with the daughter of a maternal uncle was condemned.
- Similarly, Gandharva form of marriage was not favoured. Generally, one married a girl very much younger thim. Child marriage was known.
- Bride price was strongly condemned. Bridegroom price was not thought of during this period.
- Women were permitted tremarry under certain conditions such as the death of the husband.
- Sometimes, husbands were chosen at a svayamvara ceremony with the approval of the parents.
- Sati was practised in some parts of the country like Kashmir. It was prevalent mostly in royal and high families. It was however voluntary.
- The custom of dedicating maidens for service in temples was continued. Prostitution was a recognised institution.
- The prostitute was expected to possess very high qualifications of both body and mind.
- Few More Informations
- According to the Tibetan tradition, Dharmapala founded the famous Vikramashila monastery near modern Bhagalpur. He also patronised the great Buddhist author Haribhadra.
- Dharmapala’s son Devapala received an embassy from Balaputradeva, the Sailendra king of East Indies and gave it a grant of five villages in order tendow a monastery at Nalanda.
- The rise of Kaivarta chiefs positions of power and wealth in the latter days of the Pala dynasty shows that careers were open to men of talent irrespective of caste and creed.
- The most important event of the reign of Amoghavarsha was that he fixed his capital at Manyakheta (now Malkhed in Andhra Pradesh).
- The great extent and prosperity of the Pratihara empire is attested by the Muhammadan traveller Al Masudi, a native of Baghdad, who visited India in the year 915-16 A.D.
- Arnoraja, a member of the Chalukya family of Gujarat, received a grant from Kumarapala the village Vyaghrapalli, where he settled with his family.
- The Kalachuris of Chedi, also known as kings of Dahala, had their capital at Tripuri. The royal dynasty was founded about 845 A.D. by Kokalla I.
- In order to celebrate the victory of Yuvaraja over the Rashtrakutas, the famous poet Rajasekhara, staged his drama Vidya salabhanjika.
- Upendra alias Krishnaraja was the founder of the Paramara dynasty. He was originally the Governor of Malwa, appointed by the Rashtrakuta emperor Govinda III after he had conquered the province from Nagabhatta II.
- The most powerful ruler of the Paramaras was Munja, also known as Utpala and Vakpatiraja II. His greatest enemy was Taila II.
- Kallar was the founder of the Hindu Sahiyas dynasty. He is generally identified with Ralliya Shahi whis highly praised in the Rajatarangini of Kalhana.
- The Rashtrakuta rulers built the shrine at Elephanta, Chotta Kailasa, Indra Sabha and Jagannatha Sabha temples.
- Amoghavarsha wrote Kavirajam-arga a Kanarese work on poetics. Jainsenai wrote the Adipurana, Sakatayana authored Amoghavritti, Mahavicharya produced the celebrated treatise Ganitasarasangraha.