This book is a comprehensive introduction to Dalits in India from their origin within the caste system to the present day. Despite a plethora of provisions for affirmative action in the Indian Constitution, Dalits are largely excluded from the mainstream. The book traces the multifarious changes that befell them during the colonial period and their development thereafter under the leadership of Babasaheb Ambedkar. It looks at hitherto unexplored aspects of the degeneration of the Dalit movement during the post-Ambedkar period, as well as most contemporary issues around it such as the rise of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Dalit capitalism, NGOization of the Dalit discourse, and the various implicit or explicit emancipation schemas thrown up by them. The work also discusses ideology, strategy and tactics of the Dalit movement; touches upon one of the most contentious issues of increasing divergence between the Dalit and Marxist movements; and delineates the role of the state, both colonial and post-colonial, in shaping Dalit politics in particular ways.
This new edition includes a new chapter explicating the rise of hindutva to assume complete control of the state and the dynamics it unleashed around Dalits. It traces its genesis to the construction of the post-colonial state which inter alia consecrated castes and avoided to adopt secularism.
A tour de force, this book brings to the fore many key contemporary concerns and will be of great interest to activists, students, scholars and teachers of politics and political economy, sociology, history, social exclusion studies and the general reader.
1. The caste context 2. Anti-caste developments 3. Pre-Ambedkar movements of Dalits 4. Dalit movement under Ambedkar 5. Post-Ambedkar movements of Dalits 6. Religious conversion as emancipation 7. Politics as the master key 8. Dalits under neoliberalism 9. New trends among Dalits 10. Dalits under the Hindu Rashtra in Making 11. Whither Dalit emancipation