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

Kaveri GillSubscribe to Kaveri Gill

Democracy and Its Inconvenient Questions

The case of the local people's grievance against the mining of iron ore for the Bhilai steel plant from Rowghat in the reserved forest area of Chhattisgarh, a Fifth Schedule Area, is just one more example of the infringement of constitutional rights and guarantees. It also portends what is to come with the polity poised to take a decisive right-wing turn.

Deprived Castes and Privileged Politics

This article examines political mobilisation around scheduled caste identity by focusing on a case study of purportedly "environmentally-beneficial" legislation, which threatened the existence of the informal sector recycling industry in Delhi. It explores the democratic political avenues used by those whose business opportunities and livelihoods were at risk, based largely on market participation and caste identity, to resist this legislation. The research is based on interviews and informal discussions conducted over an extensive period of time spent in the neighbourhood of the wholesale plastic recycling market in north-west Delhi and amongst the "elite establishment" - government officials, primary plastic industry members and others. As it appears, not only is caste identity thriving in the urban sphere, but this identity is actually being used in innovative ways to gain and maintain collective access to economic and political power.
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