God as Political Philosopher
Buddha’s Challenge to Brahminism
demy octavo pb 244pp ISBN 81-85604-77-0 Dec 2000, 4th rpt Nov 2012 Rs 350
'This book is the first major research work that posits Gautama Buddha as a political thinker . . . It shows that Buddhist theorizing is as powerful as that of the ancient Greek thinkers . . .' ~~-Professor Gopal Guru, Poona University.
In this provocative and scholarly book, Kancha Ilaiah propounds a view of Gautama Buddha as India’s first social revolutionary…Buddha did his best to give the principles of tribal democracy and egalitarianism a sanctuary in his own sangha. In so doing he foreshadowed India’s experiment with parliamentary democracy.
Critical of the caste system and its attendant power structure, Buddha inducted low caste members into the sangha and made them his trusted advisors. He gave women an honoured place in the sangha. Dissent was permitted; even Buddha was not above the law. Pre-dating Socrates and Plato by some years, Buddha also foreshadowed key elements of their philosophy.
Kancha Ilaiah is professor and director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad and an activist in the Dalitbahujan and civil liberties movement. His other books also published by Samya: Untouchable God ; Why I Am Not a Hindu: A Sudra Critic of Hindutva Philosophy, Culture and Political Economy; Buffalo Nationalism: A Critique of Spiritual Fascism.
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