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

Dalit PoliticsSubscribe to Dalit Politics

Siddalingaiah (1954–2021)

The literary journey of Siddalingaiah as well as the trajectory of his creative experiments and activism are narrated.

Kanshi Ram and the Making of Dalit Political Agency

Kanshi Ram worked out an additive strategy of visualising Indian society and argued for an identity-based representational space for communities in the Indian political system. An important implication of such an imagination of the political process was to turn the logic of caste from its existing vertical frame to a horizontal one. However, considering that this vision of democratisation through community-based hissedari in the political domain having confronted a major block, a different language of politics needs to be invented towards an imagination of substantive citizenship or “absolute equality” in the words of Kanshi Ram.

‘New’ Dalit Women and Their ‘Improper’ Politics

Dalit Women: Vanguard of an Alternative Politics in India edited by S Anandhi and Karin Kapadia, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2017; pp xviii + 350, ₹995.

Dalit Politics in India

Dalit political parties in North and Central India have overwhelmingly pursued an agenda of recognition, calling for equal respect, rather than one of redistribution. While this has improved the social and economic standing of Dalits better situated in terms of class, it has failed to substantively improve the lives of the majority of Dalits. Ultimately, Dalits' quest for equal treatment will be limited so long as it lacks a redistributive politics that addresses exploitative economic relations.

Uttar Pradesh: A 'Mayawi' Revolution

The Bahujan Samaj Party's victory in UP was a culmination of Mayawati's politically clever strategy of crafting an alliance between the dalits and the brahmins. To label it a "social revolution" contradicts the very framework of this alliance as a politically convenient arrangement. Its replication in other states would depend on particular caste configurations in every state. It would also be too premature to read in the BSP's victory the portents of a future "dalit raj" in the country.

Left-liberalism and Caste Politics

Whether it is dalit politics or feminist struggles, more and more analysts are focusing on the realm of embodied experience involving groups rather than on abstract rationalist theory involving individuals. The obvious question is: can communities, like caste groups, be viewed as legitimate categories within the framework of liberal modernity? This essay explores the idea that group-centred 'embodied experience' may be no more than a phantom category. The emergence of this third category in order to bypass the tradition-modernity or communalism-secularism dyad, may turn out to be without much substance.

The Race for Caste

Until now, in international conferences on apartheid and racism India saw itself as a fighter of freedom and was the official advocate condemning racism, colonialism, apartheid. Suddenly this great role is being threatened, and from within. India is being condemned in the name of universal freedoms as a violator and for what we all along glibly thought was 'an internal affair', caste. Why is caste like race? What are the claims for entry and the objections? What is the method and manner of the argument? And will the move to get caste discrimination to be read as racial discrimination succeed as politics?
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