The essay provides a reading of Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas as a story of the peasantization of adivasi groups and their incorporation within the Hindu caste fold, both in North India and in the Gondwana region. In the first part of the paper a textual analysis is conducted with the aim of selecting a few significant passages where Tulsi more radically deviates from, or innovates with regard to, the Ramayana narration. Such passages are then examined with an eye to delineate Tulsi’s positions on the tribal communities that are represented therein, and particularly on their capability to be converted to the cult of Rama and, consequently, to be absorbed into the mainstream Hindu religion. These dynamics are described against the backdrop of the social, cultural and economic processes that were unfolding in those centuries: the expansion of peasant agriculture (particularly significant under the Tughlaq’s rule, during the XIV century), by which indigenous groups of primitive cultivators began to be incorporated into a highly stratified agrarian society; the strong political centralization brought about by the Mughals; the progressive Islamicization of the urban centres. To corroborate this interpretation, and to show on which bases the conversion of the tribal communities to the cult of Rama could take place, a few elements that are consistent with a general phenomenology of conversion are traced in the text and analyzed in detail.
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|Titolo:||Tulsi Das and the conversion of the tribals: notes for a new reading of the Ramcharitmanas|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||02a Capitolo o Articolo|