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

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Unmuting the Voice of Caste in Urban Studies

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When I was in the village, I knew where I could go, how I could dress, what I could say and what I could not say. Even when I chose to transgress, I knew what exactly I was risking. We all knew it. But here in the city, even on the university campus, it is very different. People guess my caste from my name and from small details about how I carry myself. And then there are small changes in their behaviour. It took me a long time to recognise these. They are like small paper cuts. They add up. Every day. Until you cannot ignore them anymore. They kill slowly. Recognising them does not lessen the hurt. It still stings each time. It still surprises and confuses me at every corner. Caste in the city is … what do they call it … a shape shifter?

—Student in a graduate programme in a central university (name and other details withheld)

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Updated On : 2nd Jan, 2024
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