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Dominant or Backward?

Using data from the India Human Development Survey, this paper examines the demands of Jats (Haryana), Patels (Gujarat), and Marathas (Maharashtra) to be classified as Other Backward Classes to access reservations. Compared to the major caste groups (Brahmins, other forward castes, existing OBCs, and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) in their respective states, based on several socio-economic factors, they are closer to dominant than disadvantaged groups. Their claim to backwardness is empirically unjustified. The paper examines the material basis of their anxieties in the context of structural changes in the Indian agricultural economy. It investigates networks and political connections that explain their success in mobilising.

Faculty Diversity at the Indian Institutes of Management

A look at the social composition of faculty members at the Indian Institutes of Management reveals that the faculty body at these institutions is drawn from a very narrow spectrum of Indian society. The recently proposed legislation that will convert IIMs into full-fledged universities offers a canvas for public deliberation on the question of social diversity at these institutions of higher learning.

Caste, Contemporaneity and Assertion

This article is in response to the opinions and views expressed in the “Caste and Class” special (EPW, 19 November 2016). An evolutionary and historical method has not helped us to understand the caste system and its exploitative nature in its entirety. Therefore, we need to analyse it from a new perspective which can explain the caste system by critically looking at assertion of both, the so-called upper castes and Dalits together.

The 'Silence' of the Marathas

The signals of the silent Maratha morchas are loud; the Maharashtra government must act.

Exclusion within the Excluded

An investigation into the trends in economic disparities within the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for the past three decades (1983-2012) shows that the economic disparity ratio has increased substantially for both SCs and STs. The increase is much more in the case of the SCs. The economic inequality (Gini coefficient) has increased for both SCs and STs in urban India. In rural areas, it has increased for the SCs but has remained almost the same for the STs. In the post-economic reforms period (1993-2012), there is an unambiguous increase in inequality among both SCs and STs, and in the interstate inequality within the SCs and STs, for both rural and urban areas.

Reconciling Gandhi with Ambedkar

This article carries forward the discussion on the controversy between M K Gandhi and B R Ambedkar occasioned by Arundhati Roy's essay, "The Doctor and the Saint." It takes note of Rajmohan Gandhi's criticisms of Roy in "Independence and Social Justice: The Ambedkar-Gandhi Debate" (EPW, 11 April 2015) and Roy's response, "All the World's a Half-Built Dam" (EPW, 20 June 2015) to stress that the views of Gandhi and Ambedkar are not as conflicting as they are made out to be.

Response to Arundhati Roy

Continuing with the discussion around "The Doctor and the Saint," Rajmohan Gandhi counters Arundhati Roy's response in four areas--Gandhi and the Blacks of South Africa, Gandhi and caste, Gandhi and Ambedkar, and the subject of joint/separate electorates for Dalits.

All the World's a Half-Built Dam

A response to Rajmohan Gandhi's "Independence and Social Justice: The Ambedkar-Gandhi Debate" (EPW, 11 April 2015).

Scheduled Caste and Tribe Students in Higher Education

The IITs, known for their excellence in teaching and research, have come under criticism for their casteist outlook, manifested recently in IIT Madras derecognising the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle. This article explains the findings of a 1982-1984 study that aimed to understand how SC and ST students in IIT Bombay adjusted to the academic and social environments.

Practice of Caste in Higher Education

Beyond Inclusion: The Practice of Equal Access in Indian Higher Education edited by Satish Deshpande and Usha Zacharias (New Delhi: Routledge), 2013; pp 356, Rs 415 (hardback).


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