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

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The Impossibility of ‘Dalit Studies’

The meaning and implications of the presence of “Dalit studies” in the pedagogical content of higher education in India need to be analysed. “Dalit studies” seeks to intervene into such a space of pedagogical practices and institutional policies in higher education which may have grudgingly accepted the physical presence of the Dalit through affirmative action, but which has nonetheless historically overlooked the thought of the Dalit.

The Time of Youth

Drawing on long-term multisite ethnographic fieldwork in Allahabad and Meerut, this article examines how educated unemployed young men, from different socio-economic backgrounds, struggle for employment and engage with politics and religion in the age of neo-liberalism.

Religion and Scheduled Caste Status

The Supreme Court's judgment in the case of Mohammad Sadique carries disturbing implications for Muslim Dhobis, Dooms, Julahas, Mochis, etc, who face social disabilities similar to Hindu Dhobis, Dooms, Julahas, Mochis, etc, but are denied the same legal status. It seems to convey that the former could get the Scheduled Caste status provided they agree to convert to Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism. This judgment is in conflict with the basic tenets of the Constitution. There is thus an urgent need to review the relationship of religion and caste as assumed in the acts that deal with the question of the membership of SCs.

Towards Equality in Healthcare

The Rapid Survey on Children shows a new trend of an increased access to healthcare by marginalised communities like Dalits, Adivasis and Other Backward Classes which have made substantial gains in the last decade. However much needs to be achieved in the realm of nutrition and sanitation where these communities remain acutely deprived.

Removing Discrimination in Universities

How can we create just and non-discriminatory spaces in universities when the discriminatory practices are not obvious and apparent? The author suggests two ways—reporting and addressing indirect discrimination and a periodic discrimination audit of educational institutions.

'Brighter Side' of Seasonal Migration

The paper is based on field surveys of two locations of rural West Bengal during the1990s. It presents contrasting scenarios of fertility behaviour and its transition for a tribe, namely Santals, between two locations as well as between Santals and lower caste people in the same village. The Santals of Chitrihutu, who migrate seasonally, evince not only low fertility, but they indeed appear far ahead of non-migrating Santals of Thupsara in terms of contraceptive practices and fertility control. The positive role of seasonal migration in hastening fertility transition has been the central message of the present study.

Caste Tensions in Punjab

The recent incidence of conflict involving members of the landowning caste of jats and the scheduled caste of â??ad-dharmis' in the Talhan village of Punjab is far from a typical case of caste violence or 'dalit oppression' frequently reported from other parts of India. Instead, it ought to be viewed as a case of 'dalit assertion' for equal rights and a share in the resources that belong commonly to the village and had so far been in the exclusive control of the locally dominant caste, the jats. Further, notwithstanding the rather peculiar and complex nature of the Talhan case, this could mark the beginning of a new phase in the history of caste relations in Punjab. Though the issues are varied, there seems to be an underlying pattern in several other cases of conflict being currently reported in the state.

High Female Literacy, Low Child Population

This paper examines the relationship between rural female literacy and the size of the child population (0-6 years) using block level data from the population census of 1991 for West Bengal. Its purpose is to find out if there is any threshold level of female literacy associated with a rapid decline in the size of the under-6 population. The analysis is done separately for three social groups; the tribals, the scheduled castes and the rest or the 'general' population. The results have an important bearing on policy while processes behind these are of considerable significance to researchers. Further validation of these patterns using 2001 Census data and similar analysis for states is indicated.

Punjabis in England

The Punjabi diaspora has flourished in England since the 1920s. Today, change is being pushed forward by younger generation influenced by secular institutions in the host society, despite resistance from the older generation. Continuity is seen in the persistence of caste segmentation. A study in two cities, Birmingham and Leamington Spa, focusing on the experience of ad-dharmis shows that caste continues to have relevance across the community.
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