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

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Casteist Pheromone in Elementary Schools of Tamil Nadu

It has been brought to our notice that this article, which was published in the 28 June 2014 edition of EPW, reproduced, without providing a citation, two paragraphs in the section “Casteism in Schools,” from an article by Jean Drèze (“Patterns of Literacy and their Social Context,” in Veena Das et al (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Sociology and Social Anthropology, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003). The paragraphs in question begin with “According to Dreze and Kingdon (1999), this bias has several possible reasons….” —Ed. Despite its "modern" education system with its progressive values, caste-based values dominate India's educational institutions. The brahminical way of understanding educational achievements is prevalent and the state has become increasingly docile in the arena of social justice in this neo-liberal political economy.

Caste Publications

Modern political culture has given viable incentive for various castes to develop their respective subcultures to consolidate their power in a competitive social world. Print media becomes the basis of these subcultures as it provides a viable option both for the consolidation of a shared identity as well as its communication. This article tries to illustrate the role played by print culture in materialising upper caste subcultures and their respective organisational politics through an empirical study of various registered upper caste publications in Uttar Pradesh.

Humiliation: Class Matters Too

All the dalits actively protesting against the humiliation of Devyani Khobragade through email and social media campaigns would not have even heard of Soni Sori, let alone what the Chhattisgarh police did to her. But isn't Sori a member of their class, the class of the exploited?

Caste and the Bar Dancer

While Maya Pandit identifi es the State's wrath against lower-caste female sexuality as the root cause of the ban on dancing, this comment on dance bar debate argues that the very reason for the legal ban can be found in the caste and gender politics in globalising India and "caste governance" by the Maharashtra state government.

Whatever Has Happened to Caste in West Bengal?

Taking the discussion in EPW on caste in West Bengal further, a comment on the mobilisation and autonomy of the lower-caste movement post-Partition, the reduced scope for the lower castes to develop a hegemonic politics or strategy, and the importance of a bahujan samaj in this context.

Can Caste-Based Rallies Be Banned?

On 11 July, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, comprising justices Uma Nath Singh and Mahendra Dayal, issued an interim order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a local lawyer, Motilal Yadav, banning caste-based rallies throughout Uttar Pradesh (UP) with immediate effect and...

Class-Caste Debate Revisited

The recent critique of the Ambedkarite Dalit movement by Marxist critics has led to a hostile reaction from the former as it was seen as part of a long history of acrimonious relations between these two forces fi ghting similar battles for the deprived and oppressed. Can these two radical streams overcome this history of bad relations and misunderstandings to synthesise a new unifi ed politics of protest?

Caste in Tamil Nadu - II

The case of violence against the dalits by the Vanniyars in Dharmapuri recently is not a sign of resurgent casteism as the media and others are claiming. The state has definitely benefited from the anti-caste movements in the past and the dalits are experiencing upward mobility. The violence is a desperate acknowledgement of the dalit reality and the inability of the intermediate castes to exercise caste power over them as in the past.

Caste in Tamil Nadu

Representations have been made by some of the political parties of Tamil Nadu to have a particular chapter in an NCERT Class IX textbook removed; the chapter is being attacked for discussing the past of the infl uential Nadars as "untouchables" and for highlighting the role played by 19th century Christian missionaries in the community's subsequent upward mobility. The present clamour for a censored caste history has a right-wing Hindu character to it. If memories of degradation are an enabling resource in producing alliances against continuing forms of oppression, in this instance erasure of such memories is what is being sought by an upwardly mobile caste.

Conceptualising Social Exclusion: New Rhetoric or Transformative Politics?

The debate on equality and non-discrimination is certainly not a new one, but the way it is incorporated in that on social exclusion leads to several shifts within the discourse on social justice. The term social exclusion is multidimensional although its western use in a selective way about markets promoting equality separates it from the Indian emphasis on social justice as linked to ending discrimination of dalit groups. The concept of social exclusion is inherently problematic as it faces three major challenges in India: the first relates to the historical discrimination of certain groups and their exclusion; the second is about the political economy of the excluded; and the third questions the way in which equality responses are restricted within the framework of social exclusion.

Inequality and Exclusion: As If the System Mattered

The study of exclusion in social terms by itself is inadequate. Any attempt to understand and explicate exclusion either historically or contemporarily has to pay attention to interdisciplinary approaches. This note emphasises that the approach should be via understanding the operation of economic forces in particular and interdisciplinarity in general.

Paramakudi Violence: Against Dalits, Against Politics

The killing of six dalits in police firing in Paramakudi in September again exposes the manner in which state institutions work to enforce the social dominance of certain castes. In the southern districts of Tamil Nadu there is an upsurge within dalit castes, but there is also a continuing complicity between the dominant castes, political parties and state institutions to beat this back.

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