Tamil Brahmans of Fuller and Narasimhan

Any book with coffee, the Hindu and the computer keyboard on cover is hard to resist. And if it titled Tamil Brahmans, more so. I read it and enjoyed it a lot.

I could identify with many of the anecdotes and opinions described in the book since I have personal experience with similar opinions and people growing up in rural Tamilnadu  in the 1980s (though as a linguistic minority — not as a Tamil Brahman). In any case, the value of books like this is that they help you understand your own experience and attitudes at a broader level; in doing so,  they also give a perspective that is generally missing and is very different from what you would get if you are not exposed these kinds of arguments and viewpoints.

Even though reading the book is not  as great an experience for me as, for example, reading Srinivas’ Remembered village, it is still one of the best books of this type I have read — I liked it better than I remember liking Beteille’s book (though Beteille’s book is a very good one too).

Strongly recommended if you are a South Indian; if not, it might still be an interesting read.

Here is an interview with the authors; here is an opinion piece on the book (with some awesome pictures).

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