Colonialism and the Making of Modern India
Nicholas B Dirks
Permanent Black, New Delhi, 2002
Dirks argues that caste is neither an unchanged survival of ancient India nor a single system reflecting a core culture, but that caste as we know it is a relatively modern phenomenon, the product of the encounter between India and colonial British rule. Caste was not a British invention, but on account of British domination, it became a single term capable of subsuming India's diverse forms of social identity and organisation.