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

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The Inner and the Outer Domain of Caste


In the last issue of EPW, we had argued how the right to privacy of caste does not cause any damage to the social privilege that some of the twice-born castes seem to protect through caste networks. In the current From the Editor’s Desk column, it is possible to raise a counterpoint which, in fact, is the logical fallout of caste as a form of privilege. Put differently, caste as a social privilege cannot exist without the presence of the underprivileged castes in the public domain. The binary between the privileged and the underprivileged that is encompassed in the logic of hierarchy generically expands itself through several spheres of life and extends itself beyond the territorial boundaries of a nation. The legal recognition of caste discrimination in a couple of states in the United States particularly bears this out.

Back in the homeland of caste, it is also important to discuss the government’s predicament while dealing with caste, albeit briefly. One may agree and argue that discussing this with utmost sincerity and self-reflectiveness is necessary to understand the evil effects of caste practices. In fact, withdrawing caste into the private sphere under the guise of the right to privacy also offers an opportunity, like revealing other delicate details of life, which could cause a devastating damage to one’s reputation, should they become public, and hence are required to be kept within the zone of privacy. If some sentient being considers caste as a source of damaging the social respect of the country, then it can be subjected to self-criticism once it is allowed to enter the intimate sphere.

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Updated On : 10th Jun, 2023
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