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

Articles By Nidhin Donald

The Dalit Christian/Dalit Muslim Challenge to the Rule Book

The Dalit Muslim/Dalit Christian opposition to the stipulation of religion in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order of 1950 is a critical chapter in the postcolonial history of India. In this article, it is argued that the state’s inability to grapple with this challenge is explicitly visible in its unreasonable insistence that caste inegalitarianism is an exclusive domain of the Hindus (or “Indics”) and conversion is an absolute material and ideational break from the past.

Every Family Its Own Historian?

Upper-caste Syrian Christian family histories variously comprise the reconstructions of popular beliefs; family and church genealogies claiming Brahminic and apostolic origins; biographies of prominent family members; discussions on the crisis of national and global migration; purity of race and blood; descriptions of relationships with other social groups; road maps and visions for the future; endogamous family directories; popular bedtime stories, among others. These family historians select the most desirable facts, figures, myths, and legends to present a strange blend of facts and fancies. This paper explores how the Syrian Christians mobilise, conceive, and position their histories within the social matrix of Kerala and their ideological uses for identity politics.