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

Articles By Varsha Ayyar

Caste-Gender Matrix and the Promise and Practice of Academia

The dilemmas arising from the “list” and the “statement” have compelled us to reflect on contemporary feminist politics and concede that cultures of sexual violence are pervasive in academia. This article attempts to contextualise the dilemma from a (Dalit/ex-untouchable) feminist perspective. It underlines the unresolved caste question in the academy and the Indian feminist movement. Brahminical patriarchal violence, misogynistic caste cultures, the social composition of committees that adjudicate “due process,” lack of faculty diversity, as endemic features that affect women and vulnerable communities. The article underscores that women from Dalit backgrounds are specifically vulnerable, and the existence of such a list is a result and response to institutional failure. Yet the possibilities of misuse of such lists show vulnerabilities of both, victims of sexual violence and the alleged perpetrators in a charged political climate where such tools can be used against “progressive” and anti-caste Dalit voices.