Caste

Caste

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Jats into Kisans

The Unmaking and Remaking of the Farmer Identity in Western UP

Issue Articles

Historical Roots of the Rise of Hindutva in West Bengal

For a century, Hindu organisations have worked amongst Dalits in Bengal to incorporate them into the religious community, while the Left excised the question of caste from its discourse. These legacies have come to the fore as the BJP rises in the state.

Jat Power and the Spread of the Farm Protests in Northern India

The combination of caste & farmer identity amongst the Jats in western UP uniquely strengthens the resistance to the farm laws, but also creates barriers to creating lasting solidarities with marginalised groups that the farm movement is trying to incorporate.

For A Bahujan Economics

A Personal Statement
Bahujan students face hostility in universities but they cannot give up. They must fight to assert their identity, reject being called “non-meritorious” and master their subjects. One scholar recounts her struggle and demands a more compassionate Economics.

Dharma and Caste in the Mahabharata

Some episodic suggestions
The Mahabharata is peopled by the ‘higher’ castes but there are important personages from the ‘lower’ castes whose presence gives a radical salience to ‘dharma’ as set out in the epic, to the point of even suggesting a subversion of the dominant ideology.

Muslim politics and the 2020 Bihar Election

The story of the Muslim vote in Bihar is not the triumph of the AIMIM, but the strong desire of the Muslim voter in both majority and minority areas across the state to express herself against the BJP and its allies.

In Memoriam: Sociologist and Activist Abhay Xaxa

A reflection on the life and legacy of Abhay Xaxa, visionary Adivasi leader, teacher, and thinker, and what the relative silence around his untimely death says about us.

A Black Spring

Deepening racial inequality in the US is the fundamental reason for the recent widespread protests. African American economic progress has been worse than that of Dalits in India. Any optimism about the outcome has to confront these features of US society.

India Cannot Fight Coronavirus Without Taking Into Account its Class and Caste Divisions

The country must rethink its strategy of fighting Covid-19 by taking into account the lives, the work and the living conditions of the marginalised sections of the society.

The Continuing Relevance of MGNREGA

For more than five years the Government has been lukewarm towards the MGNREGA. Yet, in the midst of the ongoing slowdown this very programme is a potentially effective instrument that it can and should use to address the economic emergency in rural areas.

The Revolt of the Upper Castes

The surge of Hindu nationalism in India can be seen as a revolt of the upper castes against the egalitarian demands of democracy. The Hindutva project is a lifeboat for the upper castes in so far as it promises to restore the Brahminical social order.

What do Workers Hope for?

Let’s create a way of work that affirms life
The world’s production capacity is immense, so why then should workers toil so much for two meals a day? We should aspire for a way of work that does not degrade but affirms life. A worker in a textile factory talks of his life, work and hopes.

Transformative Power of Cricket in India:

Its Potential and its Limits
The first All-India cricket team to tour England opened a small window for the game to be a site for social justice. But a century later that promise in a cricket-mad country remains unfulfilled. A review article around Prashant Kidambi's "Cricket Country".

Skilling the Last First

"Our skill ecosystem has to be flexible and inclusive as this can be crucial to overturn the social constructions of worth in a society that is ridden with inequalities."

When the Sewers Get Blocked

Sanitation Labour in Urban India
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has ended, but are we in "Clean India"? Sanitation systems remain inadequate and the work can be dehumanising for those who remove the blocks in sewage pipes. The job can also be dangerous and take lives. A photo essay of a day's work.

Tamil Rationalism and Hindu Temples

The Tamils' Self-Respect Movement of Malaysia that successfully preached rationalism and at the same time fought for temple entry for Dalits is a historical example of how contesting beliefs can peacefully co-exist, offering a valuable lesson for India today.

Structural Violence of Casteism

A Personal Narrative by an Adivasi University Teacher
In West Bengal, the symbolic violence of caste is more intense than physical violence. A university teacher describes the everyday exclusionary experiences of adivasis in education spaces and the operation of caste-based glass-ceilings when they do find jobs.

The Story of My English

Can an autobiographically-inclined social history reveal the role of English in shaping caste privilege, regulating class mobility and enabling individual agency? This essay risks an answer.

Understanding Small Caste-Based Political Parties in India

The VIP of Bihar
The story of the Vikassheel Insaan Party or VIP, a party of the Nishad community in Bihar, is important for understanding the positives and negatives of the rise of small caste-based political parties whose only agenda is reservation and representation.

The New Modi Wave as Seen from Eastern UP

Ahead of the May elections, observers in Gorakhpur in eastern UP could sense a groundswell of support for the BJP. The old caste dynamics had broken down and the efficient delivery of welfare services had built voter support. The two ensured a BJP victory.

‘Transgression’: Explaining contemporary India

Complex societal transformations can be assessed through their changing normative structures. One can analyse the different social domains in India by focussing on the key concept of ‘transgression’ through an innovative analytical framework for India.

Coercion, Construction, and 'ODF paper pe'

Swachh Bharat According to Local Officials
The Swachh Bharat Mission has turned out to be a top-down programme in which villagers are often coerced into building latrines, with relatively little focus on latrine use. A field survey challenges the official narrative that the SBM is a "people's movement"
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