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

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A Voice to the Dalit Cause

Readings on Dalit Identity: History, Literature and Religion edited by Swaraj Basu; Hyderabad: Orient Black Swan, 2016; pp 403, 895.

In recent decades, social theorists have differed in their views over the blatant and blanket usage of the term “Dalit,” which too often has ignored the patterns of differentiation that exist among them. The argument that many scholars uphold is that social scientists should be more cautious in using the term Dalit, because their analysis of social reality should not be influenced by the writings and speeches of political leaders. However, there are voices, which argue that the term Dalit has a validity of its own, because it enables scholars and civil society groups to highlight the large-scale discrimination and injustice faced by a section of humanity in the name of caste and jati ordering. The moot point that is seldom addressed in this debate is that Dalit is not a caste, but rather a constructed identity. Nonetheless, the new identity helps the socially and economically discriminated groups to challenge the processes that have led to their centuries-old subordination (Bharati 2002: 4339).

Dalit and Dalitness

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Updated On : 24th May, 2017

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