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

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Shedding Light on the Nuances of Social Exclusion

Mapping Social Exclusion in India: Caste, Religion and Borderlands edited by Paramjit S Judge (New Delhi: Cambridge Publishers), 2014; pp 276, Rs 745.

The book attempts to address three main dimensions of social exclusion – on the basis of caste, religion, and physical space. It is divided into three main themes; each exploring the context, nature, and issues related to social exclusion, both theoretically and empirically. The introduction by Paramjit S Judge provides an overview of the diverse forms of social exclusion in India and their related issues, their concepts and operational context, and the different shades of interpretation applied to them – structural, dynamic, and normative. In India, caste remains at the pinnacle of the structure of social exclusion, preventing the disadvantaged from developing themselves fully.

New forms of political or economic change such as globalisation and privatisation, instead of resulting in economic well-being of the disadvantaged, further marginalise them economically, socially, and politically. Social exclusion in the normative practices of a society stands in binary opposition to social justice, which the Indian state advocates as a matter of principle. Therefore, ending social exclusion is mainly the responsibility of the state, alongside collective mobilisation.

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