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

Other Backward ClassesSubscribe to Other Backward Classes

Status of Denotified Tribes

A study on the socio-economic and educational status of denotified tribes reveals that members of these tribes are plagued by chronic poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, health complications, and substandard living conditions, apart from the label of ex-criminals. They face an identity crisis in the absence of statutory documents and therefore, need special policies for their welfare and upliftment.

Reflections on the ‘Chalo Nagpur’ Campaign

The ‘Chalo Nagpur’ campaign mobilised thousands of women marchers and drew attention to not only the exploitation and violence suffered by women from the lower castes, classes and marginalised sections but also their efforts to build connections with women engaged in similar aims across the world.

Identity Equations and Electoral Politics

The changes in landownership pattern, educational mobility, and occupational diversification among socio-religious groups in Uttar Pradesh provide crucial insights into the contemporary nature of political mobilisation in UP. Based on a survey of over 7,000 households, representing all socio-religious groups in 14 districts of the state, the article assesses these changes and points to the disparities between the various groups and, more importantly, to the intra-group inequalities that exist within each group. To effectively mobilise support, political parties will have to look beyond the numbers and recognise the acute differences existing within castes.

The Time of Youth

Drawing on long-term multisite ethnographic fieldwork in Allahabad and Meerut, this article examines how educated unemployed young men, from different socio-economic backgrounds, struggle for employment and engage with politics and religion in the age of neo-liberalism.

RSS, BJP and Communal Polarisation in Uttar Pradesh Polls

Ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its allied organisations are making concerted efforts to achieve better coordination on the ground to consolidate the Hindu votes and crack the complex caste arithmetic of the state. With the Hindutva card unlikely to cut much ice with the backward castes and Dalits, it is crucial for the BJP, to calibrate its campaign strategy to offer these less empowered communities more political representation to reap electoral dividends in the impending polls.

Third Democratic Upsurge in Uttar Pradesh

The upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh point to an electoral battle between the incumbent Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, which swept the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. With a decline of identity politics in the state, the major political parties are trying to outdo each other in engineering alliances, reaching out to hitherto neglected, marginalised groups, under the garb of inclusive politics. Sensing an opportunity, these backward groups are turning away from their identity-based political anchors and being drawn towards parties that promise political and economic empowerment, signalling the beginning of the “third democratic upsurge” in UP.

Stooping to Conquer

The demand for reservation by Jats has grown stronger in the past four months. Does this demand reflect the changing political economy of rural Haryana? A historical analysis.

Undone by Its Own Mistakes

In the 2015 Bihar elections, Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies led at the outset but lost badly to the Grand Alliance when votes were counted. The familiar themes of caste and development--along with governance, class alignments, the reservations issue, and communal polarisation--were all important, but the mishandling of them by BJP leaders turned them to their rivals' advantage. The BJP campaign suffered from the over-centralisation of power in the hands of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. A detailed account, based on fieldwork and interviews with those on the ground, explains how BJP lost in Bihar.

Other Backward Classes: Then and Now

Recent decades have marked a notable shift in the backward class movement marked by a move away from the clamour for kshatriya status towards a demand for greater access to state resources, representation in civic institutions and state recognition of numerous sub-caste identities that exist at a local level. With the issue of reservation acquiring a greater salience in electoral politics, however, the question remains whether the other backward classes as a category for public policy in contemporary India is still a measure for social and educational empowerment or has it dovetailed to a mere political trump card.
Back to Top