The Routledge Handbook of the Other Backward Classes in India : Thought, Movements and Development book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9780367610548
Published February 3, 2022 by Routledge India
632 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.


Table of Contents

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




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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.