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

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Caste’s Quiet Role

The transformation of agricultural land in the periphery of Patna into the high-value settlement of Rajeev Nagar over 50 years is analysed to show how a coalition of the four privileged Hindu upper castes acts to leverage control over state and civic institutions in order to informally occupy and develop land and achieve its regularisation. Emerging from the Rajeev Nagar experience, we argue that the upper castes are advantaged in urbanisation processes through the refashioning of caste as networks, relations and knowledge. Caste and its social relations are crucial in shaping urban transformation in exclusive and selective ways.

Subalternity at the Centre

Affairs of Caste: A Young Diary by Sumeet Samos, Nagpur: Panther’s Paw Publication, 2022; pp 164, `599.

Household Indebtedness across Major Social Groups

The differences in the patterns of indebtedness across social groups in India are examined based on the All India Debt and Investment Survey. The relatively adverse terms of access to credit among lower-caste households leading to high debt vulnerability are underscored.

Reimagining History: The Politics of Representation in Nangeli's Tale

History is usually written by the privileged and what the world needs is a more solid theoretical foundation in “history from below” or “history of people” that enables a systematic analysis of various sociocultural products from the perspectives of the oppressed. Modern interpretations of cultural artefacts may at the outset look progressive. However, they often carry the undertones of the very same sentiments that these representations attempt to challenge. The politics of representation of caste is addressed in this article through the analysis of a popular legend of Kerala that recently obtained filmic and artistic representations. The legend of Nangeli, as represented in a recently released Malayalam film Pathonpatham Noottand (2022), in a graphic novel titled A Travancore Tale (2017) by Orijit Sen and in a series of paintings done by artist T Murali, alias Chithrakaran Murali, is analysed to expound the counter discourses in some of these works. An attempt is made to elucidate how the myth/legend became displaced between the equations of caste and gender and to illustrate the ideological lineage of the artists/creators of the art further subverting the true cause of a rebellion set forth by the lower caste woman named Nangeli.

Capitalising Caste in Yadadri

Capital and caste are identified in this paper as dominant factors shaping the land market in a rapidly growing Telangana redevelopment project of the Hindu religious Yadadri temple town. The rampant dispossession of small and marginal farmers, labourers, workers, shopkeepers, street vendors, autorickshaw drivers, Dalits and marginalised communities are discussed in this paper through the process of “accumulation by dispossession.” Engaging with the framework of capital and caste for understanding contemporary Indian political economy, this paper elucidates the process of agricultural land meeting real estate economy in a suburban religious town.

Caste and Communication Studies

Caste, Communication and Power edited by Biswajit Das and Debendra Prasad Majhi, New Delhi: Sage, 2021; pp 388, `895.

A Passing of the Past, An Epistolary Rumination 1/n Caste and Legal Education

This article builds on letter writing as a discursive method to engage with university systems, administrators and communities more widely—especially students currently enrolled in law schools, colleges, faculty and practitioners of law—about structural inequalities that are embedded within educational institutions. Making a case for more caste-conscious approaches to legal education, this article critically examines gaps in legal education, especially those that relate to caste, reservation quotas, epistemology and method, and suggests constructive ways of bridging those gaps.

The Role of Gender and Caste in Accessing Livelihood Opportunities in India

Against the backdrop of low and declining female labour force participation in India, we use a large, publicly available tehsil-level data set for several Indian states to comment on women’s barriers to accessing livelihood opportunities. Data from the socio-economic caste census seems to indicate that as the proportion of lower-caste households in a tehsil increases, the participation of female heads of households in economic activities, which improve labour force participation at the bottom of the pyramid, also increases. This is significant given the largely informal labour force and inadequate job creation in the formal economy. Lower-caste women may readily pursue informal livelihoods suggesting barriers for upper-caste women, crucial amid limited formal job opportunities in an economy dominated by informality.

How Law Shapes the Reservation Policy

These Seats Are Reserved: Caste, Quotas and the Constitution of India by Abhinav Chandrachud, New Delhi: Penguin Viking, 2023; pp xviii + 247, `599.

Caste and the Resistance of Theatre

Body on the Barricades: Life, Art, and Resistance in Contemporary India by Brahma Prakash, New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2023; pp 210, `325.

What Is New about Contemporary Indian Democracy?

The New Republic: Populism, Power and the Trajectories of Indian Democracy edited by Shray Mehta and Ravi Kumar, New Delhi: Aakar Books, 2022; pp 192, `495.

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