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

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Dialectics of Caste and Casteism

Dialectics of Caste and Casteism C P Bhambhri POLITICAL parties and intellectuals of every theoretical and ideological persuasion have to grapple with the changing dynamics of Indian caste system and Javeed Alam in his

Dalit Assertion through Electoral Politics

The post-independence period has seen democratic institutions gaining greater legitimacy among the scheduled castes, who having grown conscious of their numerical strength in electoral arena, are exercising their voting right more forthrightly. This has liberated them from the role of passive voter-supporter in the overall environment of subjugation and subordination, to actively shifting their traditional party loyalties in favour of new parties espousing their interests. If the SCs in varying degrees have deserted the Congress, in various states, the growing class differentiation amongst them has resulted in the lower class dalits opting for exclusively SC-based parties like the BSP, the Left Front or the left-of-the centre regional parties. Yet, as the CSDS survey shows, though political institutions of Indian democracy have gained support of the SCs, there has been a erosion of their confidence in the political parties. This alarmingly signals that the support extended by the dalits to the parliamentary system should not be taken for granted.

Is Caste Appeal Casteism?

Among the oppressed the appeal to caste is for unification of similar 'jatis' into larger collectivities and political mobilisation for power so as to subvert the very relations of the 'varna' order. Caste appeal here is, therefore, far from being casteism. On the other hand, the self-perceived transcendence of the traditionally hegemonic middle class from caste consciousness has rapidly collapsed in the last decade. There has been a steady decomposition of the consciousness of the middle class into articulated caste interests of brahmins, thakurs and so on. Within the Muslim communities there has been a shift away from concerns of security to those of equality and dignity - a politics in affinity to that of the dalits and the OBCs for recognition. They are therefore no more a vote bank; it is a case of alignment of interests of a secular nature, a social coalition of oppressed forces. This fusion of opposite tendencies and intercession of contrary forces has rendered the process of democratisation more and more complicated so that simple judgments become one-sided and are a sure source of misunderstanding.

Emergence of Backward Castes in South Telengana

Studies of two villages from Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, tell us a story of the emergence of backward castes in local politics. These unirrigated villages have not seen green revolution or any improvement in agricultural technology, which has prevented the strengthening of earlier class/caste power structure. It has allowed backward castes to improve their position socially and also in landownership.

Tamil Nadu : New Caste Equations

The new political equation emerging in Tamil Nadu is, thus, informed by two contradictory tendencies. While the dalits' alignment with the Muslims is problematising the Hindutva's agenda of co-opting the dalits as Hindus, the anti-Muslim politics of the backward caste thevars is making available a new territory for Hindu communal mobilisation. The future course of politics in Tamil Nadu may depend critically on which of these trends will assert.

Should Class Be the Basis for Recognising Backwardness

Castes were the building blocks of Hindu social structure in precolonial India. But with the introduction and development of the new capitalist forces of production these blocks have undergone a fundamental change. From being a hereditary unity of caste and occupations they nave become a unity ofthisvld contradiction plus the new contradiction of caste and class. This basic contradiction in Indian society can be resolved neither by subjectively subtracting the old contradiction from the new one nor by excluding either class or caste from the new set of opposites.

Class, Caste and Reservations

Class, Caste and Reservations THE continuing debate on the reservations issue is beginning to reveal a pernicious split among the pro-reservationists on the question of economic versus caste- based criteria for identifying backwardness. Left and democratic people must reflect on the significance of demanding economic criteria.

Backward Classes in Tamil Nadu 1872-1988

P Radhakrishnan The evolution of backward classes lists in Tamil Nadu clearly shows that, far from being a creation of the Indian Constitution, these were created by the British administration, supported and sustained by missionary educationists. Understanding the emergence and growth of these lists is crucial for rationalising the present backward classes categories. For it is these lists, and not any other arrived at after proper enumeration, which have been used to fill the three backward classes categories envisaged by the Constitution. More importantly, their adoption for dispensation of the far-reaching special treatment provisions of the Constitution has in effect reduced the perception and practice of these provisions to a mere concessionist policy.

Backwards All...

Backwards All... Romesh Thapar FRANKLY, and particularly after the penetration of the security system at Raj Ghat by a wayward character, I think the time has come for our dynamic PM, Rajiv Gandhi, to rouse himself for another 'instant' decision and use his massive parliamentary majority to carry a constitutional amendment to declare all the tribes, castes and communities of India as 'backwards', A dramatic move of this kind might save us from the violent agitations now surfacing to claim everything (including security!) on the basis of 'reservations

Karnataka- Commissions and Omissions

Karnataka Commissions and Omissions KARNATAKA Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde's decision to reject the Venkataswamy Commission report, while it may have been politically expedient, has contributed little towards resolving the issues being persistently raised not only in Karnataka but in other States as well. Not only has the State Government included the politically powerful Vokkaligas in the new list, but also the Lingayats who had been excluded by the earlier Havanur Commission. The Backward Special Group has been retained and the existing 15 per cent reservations on the basis of occupation and income limit has been brought down to five per cent. The new policy brings 92 per cent of the State's population under the income-based backward classes category while retaining the level of reservations at 68 per cent and will be in force for three years.

Scheduled Caste and Tribe Students in Higher Education-A Study of an IIT

Scheduled Caste and Tribe Students in Higher Education A Study of an IIT Viney Kirpal Nalini Swamidasan Amitabha Gupta Raj K Gupta This paper presents the results of a study, the third in a series, of academic and social adjustment of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students in the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay Section I of the paper traces the relationship between the backgrounds of SC/ST students and their academic performance, while section II focuses on the two main problem areas for these students. The recommendations of the study are set out in the final section.


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