Caste and Democratic Politics in India
The Indian constitution seeks to prevent the perpetuation of caste and build a casteless social system. But in over half a century since Indian independence, this has not been achieved and shows little sign of happening in the near future. Therefore, no understanding of Indian politics is possible without a thorough understanding of the complexities of the caste system. The aim of this four-part book is to bring about such an understanding. It begins by examining the various meanings attached to the notion of caste. The essay and book extracts in this first section include classic writings on caste such as those by G S Ghurye, Louis Dumont, Mahatma Gandhi and B R Ambedkar. The second part consists of essays that demonstrate the relationship between caste and power. The third part comprises material that investigates caste and various Indian political practices on the ground. The fourth, on caste and social transformation, includes discussion on one of the most salient topics in contemporary Indian politics, namely, the issue of reservations for socially backward castes.
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1996 Lok Sabha agrarian Ahirs alliance Ambedkar anti-caste assembly elections authority backward castes Behror Bihar Bombay Brahmin caste associations caste system cent votes Chaturvarnya Congress consciousness constitute contested cultural Dalits Delhi democratic dominant caste Dumont Dvijas electoral elite groups Gujarat hierarchy high castes Hindu ideology India interests Janata Janata Dal jati Karnataka Kshatriya Kshatriya Sabha labour landless large number leaders Lingayats Lohia Lok Sabha Lok Sabha elections lower castes Maharashtra Mahida major Maratha middle class mobilisation movement Muslims non-Brahmin OBCs occupation organisation panchayat Patidar peasants political parties political power polled programmes Rajputs region relationship religious reservation rule rural Samata Party Saurashtra SC votes Scheduled Castes seats sections Shudras social order society Solanki structure struggle subcaste Swatantra Party traditional untouchables upper castes Uttar Pradesh varnas Vidhan Sabha Vidhan Sabha elections village voters Yadav