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

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Atrocities on Dalits

The question of atrocities on dalits – who constitute around a sixth of the nation’s population – and the consequent denial of justice in a majority of cases is an unfortunate reality of our country. The hiatus which exists between constitutional pronouncements to “abolish u ntouchability in all...

Modi Spews Caste Venom

Caste venom is embedded in the body politic of this country. The BJP occasionally spews it; the Congress successfully conceals it.

Dalits in Business: Self-Employed Scheduled Castes in North-West India

Academic writings have invariably tended to look at caste as a traditional system of social hierarchy and culture, which is expected to weaken and eventually disappear with the process of economic development and urbanisation/modernisation. Caste has indeed undergone many changes with development and urbanisation, but it continues to be an important fact in the public life of the country. We do not have many empirical studies that help us understand the contemporary nature of the reality of caste. What are the experiences of dalits who have ventured to set up their own businesses and enterprises? What are the ways in which dalits in the urban labour market negotiate with prejudice and discrimination? A survey of dalit businesses in two urban centres of Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh tries to answer these questions.

Khap Panchayats: Stealing Freedom?

Khap or caste panchayats wield much more power than the statutory panchayats in states like Haryana and order harsh punitive measures against couples who marry within the gotra. Even powerful politicians do not dare invoke the law against them. However, in a couple of recorded cases, the aggrieved women have dared to come out in public and demand action against these khap panchayats.

Reservations within Reservations: A Solution

What is the solution to the problem of reservations for the scheduled castes where these are disproportionately cornered by a single sub-caste in every state?

Race or Caste, Discrimination Is a Universal Concern

Whether it is Australian attacks on Indians or atrocities committed on dalits by Indians, or discrimination and oppression of the people of the north-east, they are basically issues that concern humanity and cannot be prevented from being internationalised.

Manual Scavenging As Social Exclusion: A Case Study

This note deals with the problem of manual scavenging in India as a form of caste and occupationbased social exclusion. It tries to explore the causes and reasons for the continuance of this social evil in India with a case study of Ghazipur district in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Caste and Ownership of Private Enterprises

Age-old restrictions on access to capital by certain social groups continue to reflect themselves in the scheduled caste and scheduled tribes owning far fewer private enterprises than warranted by their share in the population in both rurual and urban India. Recent nationwide data also reveal that when they do run business establishments these are mainly household enterprises organised around family labour. Poverty rates among the enterprises of the socially disadvantaged groups are also much higher than among the other castes.

Dalits, Praja Rajyam Party and Caste Politics in Andhra Pradesh

The formation of the Praja Rajyam Party in Andhra Pradesh has been received with conflicting attitudes and expectations by the two major dalit castes in the state. While the Malas embraced the party as the champion of social justice, the Madigas opposed it as the party of the Kapus. Rather than seeing the prp in these binary and oppositional lenses, it is necessary to view the party as a new choice for dalits. A brief history of caste politics in Andhra Pradesh is also undertaken in this essay.

Reservations for Marathas in Maharashtra

The Marathas, who have traditionally positioned themselves as a warrioragriculturist caste, have a stranglehold on Maharashtra's political leadership and have always opposed reservations. But the declining returns from agriculture, the desire to take advantage of the postglobalisation boom in the services and knowledge-based sector and apprehension at the perceived rise of the other backward castes on the political ladder have led the community to demand inclusion in the Other Backward Classes category.

Bahujan Samaj Party: Beyond Uttar Pradesh

The Bahujan Samaj Party's performance in the November-December 2008 assembly elections reveals an increase in the party's growth on the road to becoming a national party. However, its performance in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will not necessarily follow the pattern of its Uttar Pradesh "model".

Sociology of Caste and the Crooked Mirror: Recovering B R Ambedkar's Legacy

Marking a century of debate, scholarship and politics, three texts by B R Ambedkar, M N Srinivas and Kancha Ilaiah, when read in intersection, present rich possibilities both for an understanding of caste and more importantly for a re-examination of the sociology/legal ethnography of caste and its genealogy. Ambedkar offered a multilayered, counter-hegemonic reading of caste that was lost on at least three generations of sociologists and possibly accounts for several of the conservative trends we have seen in the social sciences in institutions of higher learning. What is particularly interesting is the silence in the field of sociological work for at least five decades after Ambedkar's contribution to the sociology of caste.

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