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

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Dalit Mobilisation and Faction Politics in Rural Andhra Pradesh

This paper explores the relations between the trajectories of Dalit assertion and of faction politics in contemporary Rayalaseema in rural Andhra Pradesh. Based on a case study of a local hybrid alliance between a Dalit NGO and a Dalit agricultural labour union, it examines how Dalit organisations deal with the state and politics at village and town levels in a context of economic and political insecurities. It shows how the decline of Dalit collective forms of mobilisation in the 2000s has reinforced feelings of disempowerment among Dalit activists who look at goondaism and bossism as concrete and direct modes of assertion. The article then investigates the ambivalent relations between Dalit agenda, individual social mobility and dependence on faction leaders.
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