Caste and Representation in Prominent Forms of Culture

This special series delves into an important debate analysing the question of ‘presence’ and ‘representation’, with respect to the place of marginalised sections in popular culture. It ponders upon the imprints of appropriation and transference of caste-politics onto what we identify as “popular culture”. The articles reflect on who dominates certain narratives within popular culture, and what happens to the participation and representation of the marginalised castes in contemporary culture. The diverse articles of this series look into formulations of the caste-politics in Indian cinema, social media, popular literature and classical dance as prevalent today. 

 In this article, the author highlights the ways in which her subjectivity and selfhood as a hereditary Bahujan woman practitioner of Bharatanatyam are entangled with the past and with an enduring and dark politics of exclusion in the industry of so...
The epic tale of Phoolan Devi has inspired several studies and artistic works around her life and struggle. This includes her representation in the works of literature, cinema, painting and other genres. They brought complex discourses around the...
The article attempts to examine the idea of critical presence in opposition to representational realm by examining the presence of two Dalit actors from Malayalam film industry: (the late) Kalabhavan Mani and Vinayakan, in Indian media. Instead of...
To read anti-caste context in cinema one needs to have an experiential eye. The ones at the receiving end of caste-based discrimination and thereof inflicted humiliation by the orthodox social codes find resistance as the only way to achieve “...
In cinema, using an image that is not part of the story invites the audience’s minds to move and make connections that the film-maker is hinting at. This is an attempt at exploring the potency of an image and to elicit that using an iconic image to...
Mainstream media content in India tends to reflect the dominant character of the people who own, work in and consume it, and either by default or design tend to invisiblise the sizeable number of Dalit, minority, Other backward castes and indigenous...
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