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The Caste Question: Dalits and the Politics of Modern India

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The Caste Question: Dalits and the Politics of Modern India Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"A powerful book on caste, a subject that has dramatic importance not only for the history of democracy in modern India, but for the general discussion on the interferences of social inequalities and cultural exclusions. The Caste Question goes beyond the usual antitheses of localism and globalism, and illustrates a decisive notion of intensive universality."and#151;Etienne Balibar

"A sustained and probing analysis of the modern history of caste in Western India, connecting issues of gender, personhood, property, and politics to facts of oppression and inequality. This is the most politically and theoretically engaged book on caste to have come out in a long time."and#151;Dipesh Chakrabarty, author of Habitations of Modernity

"A profound reflection, at once historically rich and theoretically nuanced, on the nature of political modernity itself."and#151;John Comaroff, co-author (with Jean Comaroff) of Of Revelation and Revolution

"Rao is entirely convincing in this brilliant and audacious re-evaluation of political modernity in India through the perspective of anti-caste struggles."and#151;Mrinalini Sinha, author of Specters of Mother India: The Global Re-Structuring of an Empire

Synopsis:

This innovative work of historical anthropology explores how India's Dalits, or ex-untouchables, transformed themselves from stigmatized subjects into citizens. Anupama Rao's account challenges standard thinking on caste as either a vestige of precolonial society or an artifact of colonial governance. Focusing on western India in the colonial and postcolonial periods, she shines a light on South Asian historiography and on ongoing caste discrimination, to show how persons without rights came to possess them and how Dalit struggles led to the transformation of such terms of colonial liberalism as rights, equality, and personhood. Extending into the present, the ethnographic analyses of The Caste Question reveal the dynamics of an Indian democracy distinguished not by overcoming caste, but by new forms of violence and new means of regulating caste.

About the Author

Anupama Rao is Associate Professor of History at Barnard College.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Acknowledgments

Author's Note

Introduction

Part One. Emancipation

1. Caste Radicalism and the Making of a New Political Subject

2. The Problem of Caste Property

3. Dalits as a Political Minority

Part Two. The Paradox of Emancipation

4. Legislating Caste Atrocity

5. New Directions in Dalit Politics: Symbologies of Violence, Maharashtra, 1960and#150;1979

6. The Sexual Politics of Caste: Violence and the Ritual-Archaic

7. Death of a Kotwal: The Violence of Recognition

Epilogue: Dalit Futures

List of Abbreviations

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520257610
Author:
Rao, Anupama
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Subject:
Asia - India & South Asia
Subject:
Politics and government
Subject:
Political activity
Subject:
Minority Studies - General
Subject:
India Politics and government 1947-
Subject:
Dalits - Political activity
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Asia - India
Subject:
Social classes
Subject:
World History - India
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20091031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 b/w photographs
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1 in 19 oz

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Asia » India » Ancient and General
History and Social Science » Asia » India » Modern
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » Sociology » Social Classes
History and Social Science » World History » India
Science and Mathematics » Energy » General
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Rocks and Minerals

The Caste Question: Dalits and the Politics of Modern India New Trade Paper
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$38.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages University of California Press - English 9780520257610 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
This innovative work of historical anthropology explores how India's Dalits, or ex-untouchables, transformed themselves from stigmatized subjects into citizens. Anupama Rao's account challenges standard thinking on caste as either a vestige of precolonial society or an artifact of colonial governance. Focusing on western India in the colonial and postcolonial periods, she shines a light on South Asian historiography and on ongoing caste discrimination, to show how persons without rights came to possess them and how Dalit struggles led to the transformation of such terms of colonial liberalism as rights, equality, and personhood. Extending into the present, the ethnographic analyses of The Caste Question reveal the dynamics of an Indian democracy distinguished not by overcoming caste, but by new forms of violence and new means of regulating caste.
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