1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of the Other Backward Classes in India Thought, Movements and Development

Edited By Simhadri Somanaboina, Akhileshwari Ramagoud Copyright 2022
    632 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    632 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    632 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This handbook presents an authoritative account of the development of movements, thoughts and policies of OBCs (Other Backward Classes) in India. Despite the adoption of egalitarian principles in the Indian Constitution, caste inequalities, discrimination and exclusionary practices against people from backward classes and other lower castes continue to haunt them in contemporary India.

    A comprehensive work on the politics of identity and plurality of experiences of OBCs in India, this handbook:

    — Features in-depth research by eminent scholars on the Other Backward Classes (OBC) social and political thought, OBC movements and OBC development and policy making.

    — Discusses the life, ideologies and pioneering contributions by Gautam Buddha, Sant Kabir, Jotirao Phule, Savitribai Phule, Shahu Maharaj, Narayana Guru, B.R. Ambedkar, Ram Manohar Lohia, and E V Ramasamy Periyar and leading social reform movements.

    — Examines OBC issues with case studies from various Indian states to look at issues of pre- and post- Mandal India; backward caste movements; and reclamation of the Bahujan legacy.

    — Critiques public policies and programs for the development of OBCs in India.

    — Reviews the status of Muslim OBCs in India and of the invisibilized nomadic communities. 

    — Reviews the impact of globalization on the economically backward lower castes and the impact of development initiatives for the excluded people.

    The first of its kind, this handbook will be essential reading for scholars and researchers of exclusion and discrimination studies, diversity and inclusion studies, Global South studies, affirmative action, sociology, Indian political history, Dalit studies, political sociology, public policy, development studies and political studies.


    Foreword by Christophe Jaffrelot










    1. The Backward God: Gautam Buddha’s Liberative Agenda for the OBCs

    Kancha Ilaiah


    2. Contesting Caste: The Revolutionary Movement of the Sant-Poets         

    Braj Ranjan Mani                  


    3. The Thought and Ideology of Jotirao Phule

    Gail Omvedt                                                                                                               


    4. Claiming Savitribai Phule: Life and Times of a Forgotten Liberator       

    Nilekha Salunke


    5. Shahu Maharaj and OBC Empowerment in Maharashtra

    Bharath Patankar                                          


    6. Dr Ambedkar and Annihilation of Caste   

    K Srinivasulu


    7. Narayana Guru and Formation of Political Society in Kerala:  A Contemporary Critique

    K V Cybil                                                                                                        


    8.  E V Ramasami Periyar on Caste-Society & Category-wise Rights         

    G Aloysius


    9. Dr. Lohia’s Socialist Thought and Powering People

    Simhadri Somanaboina and Akhileshwari Ramagoud          





    10. Introduction: OBCs and Social Justice

    M N Rao


    11. Mandal, Mandal Commission and Making of an OBC Identity

    Arvind Kumar


    12. The Other Backward Classes: Pre- and Post-Mandal India

    Simhadri Somanaboina


    13.  Backward Caste Movement: The Tamil Nadu Experience

    K A Manikumar


    14. Backward Class Movement in Karnataka

    M Gurulingaiah


    15. Politics and Public Policy of the Dominant Castes towards Backward Classes in Erstwhile Andhra Pradesh: A Critical Analysis from 1956-2014

    E Venkatesu


    16. OBC Movement in Maharashtra:  Reclaiming the Bahujan legacy

    Lata Pratibha Madhukar       


    17. OBC Leadership & Electoral Politics in Uttar Pradesh

    A K Verma


    18. Understanding Backward Caste Movement in Contemporary Bihar

    Sanjay Kumar


    19. The Other Backward Classes in Bengal: Exclusion, Exploitation and Empowerment

    Mahua Sarkar





    20. Contextualizing the Backward Classes Discourse

    G Aloysius


    21. Modernization, Social Exclusion and Empowerment of Other Backward Classes in India: A Study of Gujarat

    Santosh Kumar and D Sriram


    22. Other Backward Classes and State Policies in Uttar Pradesh

    Chitaranjan Das Adhikary


    23. The Status of Muslim OBCs in India: Inclusion/Exclusion of Muslim OBCs in the Process of Modernisation and Development in Post-Independent India

    Syed Amin Jafri


    24. Status of Backward Caste Artisans in India: An Appraisal

    K Murali Manohar


    25. Entrenched Inequality among OBC Women of India: A Narrative of Telangana

    Akhileshwari Ramagoud


    26. The Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities of Telangana: A Ground Report

    Akhileshwari Ramagoudand Simhadri Somanaboina


    27. Media in India: Free to Exclude?

    P L Vishweshwer Rao


    28. The OBC vote in North India: Trends and Patterns

    Sanjay Kumar and Pranav Gupta





    Simhadri Somanaboina is former Professor at Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. He was associated with the Dept of Geography and Geoinformatics for 35 years. He has published on development studies, urban, regional and environmental studies and geo-informatics. His interest has been social activism and the marginalised people. He has published books on internal colonization of Telangana, election atlas and caste studies and has been associated with anti-caste movements and movement for a separate Telangana state for over three decades.

    Akhileshwari Ramagoud is an award-winning journalist and a teacher for 40-odd years. She was Deccan Herald’s Foreign Correspondent based in Washington DC, USA, and as its Special Correspondent for Andhra Pradesh based in Hyderabad. She taught at the Dept. of Communication and Journalism in Osmania University and in Loyola Academy, Secunderabad, Telangana, India. She has published several research papers on media studies in national and international journals.