Untouchability in Rural India
This book is focused and systematic documentation of the incidence and extent of the practice of untouchability in contemporary India. Based on the results of a large survey covering 565 villages in 11 states, it reveals that untouchability continues to be widely prevalent and is practiced in one form or another in almost 80 per cent of the villages. Field data is supplemented by information about the forms of discrimination which Dalits face in everyday life, such as:
- The 'unclean' occupations open to them
- The double burden of Dalit women, who suffer both gender and caste discrimination
- The upper-caste violence with which any Dalit self-assertion is met
The authors also describe Dalit efforts to overcome deeply entrenched caste hierarchies and assert their right to live with dignity. While the evidence presented here suggests that the more blatant and extreme forms of untouchability appear to have declined, discrimination continues and is most prevalent in the religious and personal spheres. The authors show that the notion of untouchability continues to pervade the public sphere, including a host of state institutions and the interactions that occur within them.
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List of Tables
Caste Untouchability and
Forms and Sites
Savaged by Tradition
Violence against Dalits
abuse agricultural allowed Andhra Pradesh assert Bihar Brahmins caste system caste-based cent clothes cultural Dalit and non-Dalit Dalit students Dalit teachers Dalit women Dalit workers Dalit youth denial of access despite discrimination district dry latrines economic entry exclusion forced forms of untouchability Forms/sites Gujarat humiliation incidence India Jai Bhim means Jesuraj Karnataka Kerala Kurnool land Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra manual scavenging mobility Nadars non-Dalit students non-Dalit women NOVOK NSSO 55th Round OBCs observed occupations Orissa panchayat police station political polling booth pollution population positive liberty poverty line practice of untouchability prevalence Punjab Rajasthan Regions religion religious reported researchers rural India sample villages sarpanch SC/ST Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes segregation separate Shudras social groups status struggle surveyed villages Table Tamil Nadu teashop temple unclean untouchability exists upper upper-caste urban Uttar Pradesh villages surveyed Villages where Form violence wages