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

Articles By Race

Race, Caste, and Class

In her book 'Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents' Isabel Wilkerson looks to the Indian caste system to provide the vocabulary to expose the invisible substructure underlying race in America. Wilkerson draws comparisons between Racism in America and Caste in India in the way certain logics and practices - such as purity-pollution and endogamy - are used to establish one's status, access to resources, and humanity. In this episode we have Gopal Guru in conversation with R. Srivatsan and P.

Every Family Its Own Historian?

Upper-caste Syrian Christian family histories variously comprise the reconstructions of popular beliefs; family and church genealogies claiming Brahminic and apostolic origins; biographies of prominent family members; discussions on the crisis of national and global migration; purity of race and blood; descriptions of relationships with other social groups; road maps and visions for the future; endogamous family directories; popular bedtime stories, among others. These family historians select the most desirable facts, figures, myths, and legends to present a strange blend of facts and fancies. This paper explores how the Syrian Christians mobilise, conceive, and position their histories within the social matrix of Kerala and their ideological uses for identity politics.

Insanity and Colonial Knowledge

The social historiography of the Tezpur Lunatic Asylum can bring interesting new dimensions and debates to critically enquire the history of psychiatry and medicine under colonialism. From the colonial medical records, the article refers to the notion of “madness” and its variants. It emphasises on the social history of the TLA, which occupies a space between knowledge and power under colonial domination. It also critiques the power relations, while categorising the “insane” and bureaucratic involvement during such report writing processes.

 

Caste and Race: Discrimination Based on Descent

In 2001, Dalit non-governmental organisations pushed for the inclusion of caste-based discrimination in the United Nations conference on racism and other forms of descent-based discriminations. How did the Government of India respond to the internationalisation of casteism? Why did Dalits want casteism to be treated on par with racism in the first place? Did they succeed? And above all, is caste the same as race?

Is Ambedkar’s Prejudice against ‘Tribe’ a Settled Matter?

A challenge is mounted against the widespread assumption that Ambedkar was prejudiced against “tribe,” by revealing acts of academic carelessness that occur in the writings of some scholars through the cherry-picking of quotes and failure to historically contextualise the same. Some such popular (mis)quotes and Ambedkar’s writings on tribe over a period of time are investigated, taking into account both their immediate and larger historical context, to argue that there are better ways to make sense of Ambedkar’s stance on the subject.