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

A+| A| A-

Caste, Consumption, and Dalit Resistance

The politics of caste has encompassed every aspect of Indian social and cultural lives, including quotidian food preparation and consumption practices. Because of their socially inferior caste identities, Dalits are mistreated in (and excluded from) Indian dominant dining spaces, and their food preparation and eating habits are stigmatised by upper-caste groups.


Rajyashri Goody is a renowned artist on the politics of food and caste. Her artworks on Dalit food preparation and eating practices enable us to rethink the repercussion of caste doctrines in the lives of Dalit people and the everyday forms of resistance enacted by Dalit food practices. Dalits are marginalised communities in India whose social status are at the lower rung of the caste hierarchy. Goodys artwork called Writing Recipes is a collection of poems/recipes she retrieved from first-person narratives and Dalit memories that unpack the ground reality of the Dalit world.

The caste-based food politics in Indian everyday dining spaces and Dalit resistance to food stratification (Goody 2014: ix) are explored in this article. How people from lower caste or Dalit backgrounds manage to interact with and are treated by others within caste-based stratified foodways and what methods they embrace to counteract the politics of food and caste are discussed in this article. To do so, the readers attention is invited as to why Dalits often have to hide their caste identity and how hiding ones identity can also be a form of Dalit resistance.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.