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

Articles By Social exclusion

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.

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.

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.

Scavenging Profession: Between Class and Caste?

A recent incident where some people belonging to the "Bhangi" community smeared human excreta to protest the Karnataka government's plan to evict them from their homes brings out in stark relief the failure of reformist initiatives to end the manual clearing of human excreta. This article argues that part of the reason for these failures has been the inability to imbue the "Bhangi" with political agency, while our ideological and literary imaginations have only tried to see this issue in terms of caste or class.

Does Class Matter? Class Structure and Worsening Inequality in India

Does class structure matter in understanding the increasing inequality in India during the period of economic liberalisation? There is now clear evidence from the National Sample Survey quinquennial household consumer expenditure surveys conducted in 1993-94 and 2004-05 that increased distance between urban elites (owners, managers and professionals), rural rentier classes (such as moneylenders and absentee landlords) that are more stratified at the top, and unskilled urban workers, marginal farmers and agricultural workers, who are increasingly more stratified at the bottom, helps us understand the distributional dynamics of the Indian growth story. This paper analyses the class structures in India and decomposes the overall inequality into inter-class and intra-class terms. It explains these changes by analysing the Indian policies during this period.

Dalits in Business: Self-Employed Scheduled Castes in North-West India

Academic writings have invariably tended to look at caste as a traditional system of social hierarchy and culture, which is expected to weaken and eventually disappear with the process of economic development and urbanisation/modernisation. Caste has indeed undergone many changes with development and urbanisation, but it continues to be an important fact in the public life of the country. We do not have many empirical studies that help us understand the contemporary nature of the reality of caste. What are the experiences of dalits who have ventured to set up their own businesses and enterprises? What are the ways in which dalits in the urban labour market negotiate with prejudice and discrimination? A survey of dalit businesses in two urban centres of Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh tries to answer these questions.