David Hardiman: Introduction Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

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David Hardiman

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  • One of the major advocates of the subaltern historiography movement in India
  • History of South Asia during the colonial period.
  • Impact of colonial rule on the rural society
  • Light on Role of local power structure and nationalism.
  • Examined the role of local peasants՚ activities and Adivasi assertions during the colonial time especially in western India.
  • Kheda district in Gujarat


  • Ethnographic and archival sources
  • Analyze movements of western India
  • Promote the subaltern studies in India.
  • Associate theory with action
  • Interested in Gandhian ideology

“Adivasi Assertion in South Gujarat: The Devi Movement”

  • Studied the Devi movement which took place in Gujarat during 1922 - 23.
  • Adivasi tribal movement by tribal peasants against the moneylenders, landlords and liquor shop owners
  • Against harmful effects of liquor on the people of their community
  • The colonial Abkari act of 1878 banned all local manufacture of liquor
  • Central distillery at the headquarter town established
  • Corrupt Govt was bribed by liquor dealers
  • License was easily available
  • Lower castes especially Adivasis were victims of poor health due to distribution of liquor
  • Illicit distillation, heavy distribution
  • Monopoly and super profits
  • Addiction of alcohol by Adivasis
  • Could not work, sold lands or mortgaged
  • Indebted
  • Soon they understood the trap of exploitation
  • Could not protest as the opposition was influential
  • Feeling of exploitation led them to protest among the Adivasi subaltern groups

Devi Movement or Salahbhai

  • In 1922 an epidemic of smallpox broke out in the coastal areas of Gujarat
  • Subaltern fishermen communities affected
  • They believed it was because Goddess was angry
  • Ceremonies and rituals organised
  • It was told that they need to give up drinking liquor, eat meat
  • Movement of Shamanism
  • It led to boycott of liquor
  • Starting social reforms among themselves
  • Gandhian nationalists of Gujarat brought them into the nationalist movement
  • Alliance with the middle-class
  • In South Gujarat, the Adivasis were considered as the passive objects of colonial policy


  • Hardiman studied in detail about local areas of Kheda district in Gujarat among the peasants of the area.
  • “His ethnographic account reveals that the middle peasantry is relatively radical as compared to poor and landless Adivasi peasants of the villages in the district.”


Q. 1. Who has made the statement ‘Caste is closed class and class is open caste’ ?

i. D. Hardiman

ii. L. Dumont

iii. S. Espstein

iv. Milton Singer

Answer: (A)

Q. 2. Who is the author of the book: “Feeding the Baniya: Peasants and Usurers in Western India” ?

i. D. Hardiman

ii. Ranajit Guha

iii. B. R. Ambedkar

iv. Louis Dumont

Answer: i

#Theoretical Perspectives

#Subaltern Perspective

#David Hardiman (For SET)


0: 00 David Hardiman

0: 07 Introduction of David Hardiman

1: 35 Approach

2: 37 “Adivasi assertion in south Gujarat: the Devi movement”

6: 51 Devi movement or Salahbhai

9: 17 Conclusion

10: 01 MCQ about David Hardiman

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