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

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The Political Economy of the Jat Agitation for Other Backward Class Status

The changing caste realities in Haryana and their links with economic processes became visible in the recent protests of Jats for Other Backward Class status. The concerns of Jats are embedded in twin processes initiated in 1991: the “Market” and the “Mandal.” Led by economic liberalisation, the Market demands certain attributes and levels of education and social skills to profit from its growth process, and Jats are perceived to be lacking in these aspects. In contrast, the Mandal has facilitated the relative mobility of lower castes, such as OBCs and Dalits, through reservations in government jobs and education. Thus, Jats have responded to this crisis by changing the discourse from one of domination to one that highlights their deprivation to bolster their demands for OBC status.


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