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

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Political Power and Democratic Enablement

Devaraj Urs and Lower Caste Mobilisation in Karnataka

Lower-caste mobilisation and organisation continues to inspire much of political imagination in India as being integral to processes of enablement and democratic inclusion. But there can be inclusion without enablement and, at times, attempts at enablement without inclusion. This paper is a critical exploration of one of the important experiments led by Congress leader Devaraj Urs in the 1970s in Karnataka that sought both inclusion and enablement of lower castes by deploying the resources of political power.

An earlier version of this paper was read at the Conference on Institutionalising Marginal Actors: Policies, Practices and Pitfalls, held at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, September 2013.

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