Monthly Archives: November 2009

Mahabali, Ramayan, Aryans, and Dravidians

What if the story of Mahabali and Ramayan were narrating the same episode in ancient Indian history? Remember that the story of Mahabali shows up in Vamana Purana whereas Ramayana is one of the Itihaasas. It is not surprising that the same incident would inspire two different mythological texts during two different periods for two different purposes. However, I claim that they are referring to the same chapter in ancient Indian history, that of the victory of Indo-Aryans over Dravidians.

On the Institution of Marriage

Given that marriage is an institution of great importance across many (if not all) cultures, it is not unreasonable to expect some sort of a definition of marriage. Ironically, anthropologists are yet to agree on such a definition! Of course, it does not help that the institution itself has been constantly changing over time. So my query is the following: What exactly is the institution of marriage? The institution of marriage, in my opinion, has conflated three different, but related, institutions: (1) a personal institution, denoted pMarriage, (2) a social institution, denoted sMarriage, and (3) a legal institution, denoted lMarriage.