Indian Feudalism (book)

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Indian Feudalism
Author Ram Sharan Sharma
Country India
Language English
Subject History of India, Ancient India
Publisher Macmillan Publishers India Ltd., 3rd Revised Edition, Delhi
Publication date
Preceded by India's Ancient Past
Followed by Early Medieval Indian Society: A Study in Feudalisation, Perspectives in Social and Economic History of Early India

Indian Feudalism is a book by Indian professor Ram Sharan Sharma. The book analyses the practice of land grants, which became considerable in the Gupta period and widespread in the post-Gupta period. It shows how this led to the emergence of a class of landlords, endowed with fiscal and administrative rights superimposed upon a class of peasantry which was deprived of communal agrarian rights.

Professor Sharma studies in detail the basic relationships in early medieval society down to the eve of the Ghorian conquests. He argues in favour of a "feudalism largely realising the surplus from peasants mainly in kind through superior rights in their land and through forced labour, which is not found on any considerable scale... after the Turkish conquest of India."[1]

The third revised edition of the book was published by Macmillan Publishers in 2005.

Andre Wink, Professor of History at University of Wisconsin–Madison criticises Sharma in Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World (Vol. I) for drawing too close parallels between European and Indian feudalism. Wink writes that R.S. Sharma's Indian Feudalism has "misguided virtually all historians of the period."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Habib, Irfan (9 August 1997). "History and interpretation". Frontline. Retrieved 5 April 2009. 
  2. ^ Wink, A. (1991) Al- Hind: the Making of the Indo-Islamic World. Brill, page 221.