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

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Revitalising Dalit Feminism

Towards Reflexive, Anti-Caste Agency of Mang and Mahar Women in Maharashtra

This paper revisits the project of dalit feminism through the social spaces that structure the assertions of dalit women from the Mang and Mahar castes in Maharashtra. It attempts to expand the theoretical possibilities of dalit feminism through engaging with the conceptual categories of Karl Marx, Walter Mignolo and Oyeronke Oyewumi and repositions the contextual specificity of the social reproduction of dalit women's social location-based knowledge. Thus, it critically examines the leftist critiques that reduce dalit feminism to an extension of identity politics. It also questions the non-committal inclusive avatars of feminism that welcome the category of dalit feminism, as any other feminist claims without recognising the epistemic turn offered by dalit feminism.

I am grateful to Sharmila Rege and Economic & Political Weekly’s anonymous reviewer for their insightful comments on an earlier draft of the paper.

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