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

RaceSubscribe to Race

On Philosophical Causality and the Problem of Evil

Caste: The Lies That Divide Us by Isabel Wilkerson, Allen Lane, New Delhi: Penguin Random House, 2020; pp 496, ` 599 (hardcover).

Smell Matters: A Critical Reading of 'Parasite'

What makes Parasite a compelling film is its depiction of the transgressive potential of the body, specifically, of smell.

Value, Visibility and the Demand for Justice

This article begins with issues of mourning and commemoration that arose in the context of the killings in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. It then relates them with questions regarding the worth and visibility of Black life. It then connects the political present with the political economy of race and the experience of state violence as these have structured urban America. The article ends by discussing issues posed by the social facts of caste atrocity and Black killings. It probes the relationship between dehumanising violence, political subjectivity and social justice.

Durban and After

Having successfully brought up the debate of dalit emancipation at the international level, it is necessary now to firstly contextualise the movement in the rising tide of Hindutva and secondly, within the logic of economic liberalisation. For, the movement for dalit emancipation has arisen as a major political discourse at the same time that Hindutva and economic liberalisation have emerged on the Indian political stage.

Wheels within Wheels, Castes within Castes

Whatever be the manner in which dalits and adivasis are classified - as belonging to a race or a caste - it is a fact that caste-induced oppression has been as agonising to a large mass of Indians as has been racial violence in South Africa. However, it is also time the intolerance, discrimination and divisions existing among the oppressed castes that have bred a great deal of violence and have thrown up unscrupulous leaders is confronted and acknowledged.

Caste, Race and Human Rights

The idea that 'caste is race plus' may prove effective in drawing world attention to bear on the practice of caste. The practice of caste cannot, however, be eradicated by strategies that merely legitimise caste and caste-based politics. Hence, if we are intent on gaining more than mere political mileage from the proceedings of the Durban conference, it is time to recognise that non-caste secular strategies need to be innovative to eliminate the social evils of caste.

Durban and Dalit Discourse

Just as the Mandal report challenged the amiable sociology of the day, and the middle class dreams of mobility, the prospect of the Durban conference on race is doing something similar to the discipline of sociology by juxtaposing and even assimilating the categories of caste and race. There is a danger that social scientists, so involved with pursuing their particular point in the debate, are in fact condemning themselves to their own ghettos of illiteracy. What is needed is a different point of entry that sees dalit sociology not through the eyes of the academe but in terms of its own emic categories.

Caste and Race: Discrimination by any Name

Racism was as uniquely institutionalised in South Africa as caste discrimination has been within the Hindu social order. Why then can we not permit the world community to express itself on the latter as we have, through the years, on the former?

UN Conference against Racism

While strongly opposing the move by certain dalit activists and groups to raise the issue of caste discrimination in the WCAR scheduled later this year, the Indian government insists that caste and race are two dissimilar and anomalous entities. But successive constitutional insertions, legislative amendments and even judicial pronouncements show the case to be otherwise - in several instances, caste discrimination is indeed seen at par with race.

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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