ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Scavenging Profession: Between Class and Caste?

A recent incident where some people belonging to the "Bhangi" community smeared human excreta to protest the Karnataka government's plan to evict them from their homes brings out in stark relief the failure of reformist initiatives to end the manual clearing of human excreta. This article argues that part of the reason for these failures has been the inability to imbue the "Bhangi" with political agency, while our ideological and literary imaginations have only tried to see this issue in terms of caste or class.

COMMENTARY

Scavenging Profession: Between Class and Caste?

B Ravichandran

A recent incident where some people belonging to the “Bhangi” community smeared human excreta to protest the Karnataka government’s plan to evict them from their homes brings out in stark relief the failure of reformist initiatives to end the manual clearing of human excreta. This article argues that part of the reason for these failures has been the inability to imbue the “Bhangi” with political agency, while our ideological and literary imaginations have only tried to see this issue in terms of caste or class.

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