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Kabir: Life Sketch, Works Political Ideas, Begampura | Political Science | Indian Political Thought

Title: Indian Political Thought-Kabir

Introduction

The political ideas of Kabir which was a discourse of an alternative society of his time. Kabir՚s critique of state, particularly of judicial and revenue administration, his utopia of Begumpura, of an ideal village polity without any private property, taxation and injustice, his secularism premised on monotheism and syncretism with the absence of critique of patriarchy or his idea of gender equality needs to be explained.

Life Sketch and Works

Kabir (15th Century) , a contemporary of Sikander Lodi (1489 – 1517) and a resident of Banaras, was the most radical intellect of his age after Basavanna (12 Century, Karnataka) . His works are compiled and referred to in Adi Granth, Panchvani, Sarvangi, Bijak and Granthavali which still imprints the social, academic discourse, folk traditions and radical praxis.

Political Ideas

  • The discourse on the political ideas of Kabir needs to be situated in the backdrop of 15-century Banaras in north India with the prevalent hegemonic culture and ideology of elite, of its state structure, taxation, technology, of its caste, class, religion, gender dominance, and of protest movements of the subaltern in different forms.
  • Kabir, himself a weaver and the vendor of his products in the textile market of Banaras, was critical of this feudal reaction and discrimination by the elite. His universal categories and monotheistic praxis were intended to transcend the social divide of his time.

Begampura

  • His consciousness and other worldliness were not separate from each other; rather these were fused into one. The Begampura, therefore, was the reflection of his consciousness, of his rebel ideas. It was premised on a universal society without any economic and primordial differentiation which in praxis meant the betterment of the poor and the discriminated.
  • Kabir became such a symbol of subversion and of opposition that a parallel subaltern tradition of Bani, dohas emerged in the name of Kabir which constantly challenged the ideological dominance of the elite, and it was very much secular.

Questions

The Utopia of Kabir includes taxation as an implied feature of the Governance?

Kabir has been the only medieval thinker who criticized the established institutions of patriarchy, governance etc.

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