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

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Gender and Public Discourse

India has a long tradition of caste- and religion-based politics in which national constructs of masculinity and feminity are played up for political gains by all parties, and yet marginalised groups like women and Dalit women in particular have no self-representation. They remain a mere embodiment of the micro nations they belong to. In the aftermath of the alleged rape of a Maratha girl in Kopardi village by Dalit youths, Maratha leaders called for a mook yatra (silent march) with three demands—justice to the girl, amendment/scrapping of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and reservation for the Maratha community. Dalit groups called these moves political propaganda that had nothing to do with ground realities.

The public debates around the ongoing Maratha agitation have divided women into two castes, but both groups have been left behind in the whole debate.

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