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Caste and Democratic Politics in India

Ghanshyam Shah (Editor)
Synopsis The Indian constitution seeks to prevent the perpetuation of caste and build casteless social system. But this has not happened over the fifty-odd years since Indian independence, and shows little sign of happening in the near future. Therefore no understanding of Indian politics is possible without a thorough understanding of the complexities of caste. The aim of this book is to bring about such an understanding. Structured into four parts and prefaced by a substantial introduction by the volume editor – himself an internationally reputed authority on the subject – it begins by examining the various meanings attached to the notion of caste. The essays and book extracts in this first section include ‘classic’ writings on caste, including those by G.S. Ghurye, Louis Dumont, Mahatma Gandhi, and B.R. Ambedkar. The second part consists of essays which demonstrate the relation between caste and power. The third part comprises material which investigates caste and various Indian political practices on the ground. The fourth, on caste and social transformation, includes discussion on the most heated debate within contemporary Indian politics, namely the issue of ‘reservations’ for socially backward castes. This volume offers important essays on the subject of caste and politics in contemporary India. It covers all the important ground that students and scholars need in order to get to grips with the idea, ideology, and ground realities of India’s caste system.
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About the author

Ghanshyam Shah

Ghanshyam Shah is an eminent political scientist who has written extensively on caste, class, communalism and social movements. He was Senior Fellow and Director, Centre for Social Studies, Surat, and till recently, held the Dr. Ambedkar Chair at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. At present, he is Professor in Social Sciences in Community Health at Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

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Bibliographic information

Title Caste and Democratic Politics in India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Permanent Black
Language: English
isbn 9788178240244
length viii+440p., Tables; 22cm.