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

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Discrimination on Campuses of Higher Learning

We need to understand the many-headed nature of discrimination prevailing on the campuses of higher education in India. This article argues that discrimination, exclusion and humiliation in campuses can be expressed at different levels: in appointments, admission of students, content of curricula of the Social Sciences and Humanities, the way teachers and Dalit students interact, and how upper caste students interact with their Dalit counterparts. The article is based on the narratives of Dalit students and teachers collected purposively from different universities across the country.

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.

Caste and the Power Elite in Allahabad

This article examines the social composition of public institutions in Allahabad, and specifically, the share of different castes and communities in positions of power and influence - the Press Club, the university faculty, the Bar Association, the police, and the commanding positions in trade unions, non-governmental organisations, media houses, among other public institutions. These turn out to be heavily dominated by a small group of upper castes - Brahmins and Kayasthas in particular. Disadvantaged castes, for their part, are largely relegated to subordinate or menial positions. The findings raise troubling questions about the resilience of caste hierarchies. Aside from better enforcement of reservation norms, there is an urgent need for more voluntary attention to diversity in public life, of the sort that has significantly reduced ethnic or gender imbalances in other countries.

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).

Annihilation by Caste

Budaun is not an isolated story. It illustrates the vulnerability and disentitlement of dalit-bahujan groups everywhere.

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.

'Representation' of OBCs in Higher Education

This article is a response to Jaya Goyal and D P Singh's "Academic Performance of OBC Students in Universities: Findings from Three States" (EPW, 1 February 2014). It challenges the claim that the Other Backward Classes are not under-represented in education and also the attempt to redefine representation as understood within the context of reservation policies. The author was also a part of the study on which Goyal and Singh based their article.

Punishing Dalit Assertiveness

Maharashtra's shamefullist of atrocities against dalits is growing.

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.

Conditions of SC/ST Households

The economic and living conditions of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households have experienced changes during the phase of accelerated economic growth in the last decade based on 2001 and 2011 Census data. There has been considerable progress in the well-being of SCs and STs during the last decade, but the gap between SCs and STs and of both these groups and the rest of the population has widened.

Rise of the 'Dalit Millionaire'

Dalit efforts to move from the ordinary and explode into the extraordinary as millionaires may look spectacular, particularly when they do not have a known history of capital accumulation. But what does this sudden rise of a few dalits to the position of millionaires signify? Using Debord's framework of the ideology of spectacle as false consciousness, which forges a fake association between a person or a social collectivity and the spectacle, this essay analyses the dalit millionaire as a spectacle within the context of caste, the corporate sector and the state.

Quotas and Minority Rights: Recapturing the Constitutional Vision

The constitutional purpose of affirmative action and the preferential treatment for the deprived and the vulnerable that it implied was to address the anomalies and contradictions of our society, specifically focusing on caste, religion, and patriarchy. Caste quotas have become a quest for upward social mobility; the creamy layer of recipient communities uses them for its own partisan benefit to the exclusion of those more disadvantaged and more deserving in their own communities. Minority rights consolidate the traditional elites and religious leaders of these communities who become fundamentalist to preserve the status quo. Recapturing the constitutional vision of an inclusive and egalitarian society and a participative and integrated democracy will demand another model of development, with more fine-tuned affirmative policies and a more focused preferential treatment for the disadvantaged.

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