Browsing Through 51 Years of EPW | Caste and Castelessness: Towards a Biography of the ‘General Category'

As a modern republic, India felt duty-bound to "abolish" caste, and this led the State to pursue the confl icting policies of social justice and caste-blindness. As a consequence, the privileged upper castes are enabled to think of themselves as "casteless", while the disprivileged lower castes are forced to intensify their caste identities. This asymmetrical division has truncated the effective meaning of caste to lower caste, thus leaving the upper castes free to monopolise the "general category" by posing as casteless citizens.



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