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Empowerment of Dalits Through Panchayati Raj: The Bihar Experience

Sachchidananda (Author)

The Dalit have been trapped in poverty and deprivation for a long time. They are victims of destitution, deprivation and debt bondage. An economically backward society such as Bihar lacks all those dynamic qualities that support, sustain and speed up socio-economics growth. Removal of all the road blocks is a prerequisite for empowerment. The Dalit must get their due share in and access to societal resources.


Although the development process has made a slight dent in the dense structure of inequality, empowerment has to be cultivated to transform the state of helplessness and passivity into a state of hope and action. This can only be achieved through psychological mobilization necessary for demolishing the edifice of inequality, injustice and exploitation. It induces radical change in one's personality resulting in a new approach to the prevailing situation.

The Panchayati Raj possesses all potentials for the creation of a new social order. It provides a platform for grassroots action. In many places, it has been an instrument of liberation, education and collective intervention and critical thinking of marginalized groups to shape their own future.

In the present book an attempt has been made to probe the process of empowerment of elected scheduled caste representatives, both men and women, in six districts in Bihar in which they have a large concentration. The role played by them in the running of the Gram Panchayat has been examined. The constraints to the empowerment process by demolishing structural as well as socio-economic barriers have been discussed.

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About the author


Prof. Sachchidananda, D. Lit., is one of the seniormost Anthropologists in India. He received his education from Patna University, and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has taught at Patna University and New York University. He has held several important posts like Director, Bihar Tribal Welfare Research Institute, Ranchi; Director, A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna; and Vice-Chancellor, Ranchi University, Ranchi. Prof. Sachchidananda has contributed a large number of papers and book reviews to research journals in India and abroad, and published a number of books in Sociology and Anthropology. Important amontst which are : Culture Change in Tribal Bihar (1964), The Tribal Village in Bihar (1968), Social Dimension of Agricultural Development (1972), Tribal Voter in Bihar (1979), Elite and Development (1980), Industrialisation and Social Disorganisation (1985), Tradition and Development (1988), Shifting Cultivation in India (1989). A past President of the Anthropology Section of Indian Science Congress, Prof. Sachchindananda is the recipient of the R.P. Chandela Medal for distinguished work in Anthropology in 1982. He is associated with a number of social science research institutions in the country in an advisory capacity.

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Bibliographic information

Title Empowerment of Dalits Through Panchayati Raj: The Bihar Experience
Format Hardcover
Date published: 21.11.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8183871150, 9788183871150
length viii+134p., Index; 22cm.