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

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Politicisation of Dalits and Most Backward Castes-Study of Social Conflict and Political Preferences in Four Villages of Meerut District

Study of Social Conflict and Political Preferences in Four Villages of Meerut District Sudba Pai Jagpal Singh Socio-cultural process of Ambedkarisation has given rise to a new generation of politically conscious jatavs in west Uttar Pradesh. In contrast, the most backward castes who constitute a large number among the backwards, have yet to assume a distinct identity. The OBCs like yadavs, kurmis, gujars are assertive today but the MBCs still do not have a forum for articulation of their grievances. These developments have led to conflict between the dalits and the OBCs on the one hand, and sharpened identities between the dalits and the MBCs on the other SINCE the early 1980s Uttar Pradesh (UP) has experienced politicisation of the dalits and in recent years the most backward castes (MBCs).' The former mobilised by the BSP, and under the impact of the socio-cultural process of 'Ambedkarisation' have thrown up a new generation which is politically conscious, better educated, upwardly mobile, and very aggressive towards those above them in the caste/class hierarchy (Singh 1994], This process is most marked among the jatav/chamars than other groups such as the balmikis, In contrast, the MBCs who constitute a large number among the backwards have yet to assume a distinct and collective identity. While the OBCs like the yadavs, lodhs, kurmis and gujars, who have been mobilised in the west UP plains by political parties since the 1960s, are today the most assertive among the backwards, the MBCs such as the gadarias, jogis, dhiwars, nais, kumhars, etc, still do not have their own forum for articulation of their specific needs. These developments have led to conflict between the dalits and the OBCs on the one hand, and sharpened identities between the dalits and the MBCs on the other. The emergence of these numerically large underprivileged groups has contributed to the erosion of the Congress and the rise of new parties during the last one-and-a-half decades.

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