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

A+| A| A-

Change among India s Harijans

THIS book makes an attempt to understand and analyse the nature of change that has taken place among the Scheduled Castes of Maharashtra. Occupation, education, and sanskritisa- tion are taken as significant variables for analysing upward mobility. The chapter on religion deals with the degree and type of change that has occurred in the life-cycle ceremonies, rituals performed, and beliefs held. A historical account is given of the political movement of the Depressed Castes under the leadership of B R Ambedkar; and the motives leading to conversion to Buddhism and the issues raised by it are studied in detail. A hundred families from each of the three major castes Mahars, Mangs and Chambhars were sampled and interviewed. This material is combined with information collected from government reports and interviews with political leaders, teachers and professionals belonging to Scheduled Castes as well as the advanced castes. With the help of this material, the author gives a broad picture of the changes occurring in the subjective consciousness, and the objective situation, of the various scheduled caste groups in Maharashtra, One notable feature of the book is that it focuses attention on the fact that the various groups of scheduled castes show a differential degree of development and differential capacity to utilise the welfare schemes. The contrasts in these respects between the four castes, Mang, Chambhar, Dhor and Holar on the one hand, and the M'ahars on the other, have been clearly brought to light The Mahars with their militarist tradition, early westernisation, participation in the political movement, and rising aspirations, were in a much better position than the other castes to take advantage of the welfare schemes initiated by the government. The Brahmins had been able, with their tradition of learning and administrative work, to establish their superiority in the newsocial order in the nineteenth century in just the same manner. The Indian Constitution, through a policy of protective discrimination, tries to protect the Scheduled Castes against more widely spread though still small sample, including a few families from similarly situated non-scheduled castes, would have helped better to increase our understanding of the implications of protective discrimination. In the absence of a clear idea of the use of the survey method, the author has missed tins opportunity.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top