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Summary of Satish Deshpande's 'Class Inequalities in India Today'

  • Date Submitted: 10/23/2013 02:59 AM
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Caste Inequalities in India Today – SatishDeshpande
(origin of sc- the govt of india act 1935 required the preparation of schedules listing the castes and tribes forming the ‘depressed classes’)

the 1980-90 witnessed ‘the return of the repressed’- the renewed militancy and social visibility of the lower classes.
During the Nehruvian era, Caste was among the few ‘traditional’ institutions that were presented as all bad, as social evils without any redeeming features. And in 1950’s and 60’s, it seemed to have no active role in urban everyday life. After Mandal, we have realised that the sole reason for the invisibility of caste in the urban context is that it is overwhelmingly dominated by the upper castes. This homogeneity has made caste drop below the threshold of social visibility.(ie if everyone is uppercaste the caste identity is unlikely to be an issue, just like being Indian is not an issue in india) Furthermore, it was the upper caste who supported the anti-caste view.

Drawbacks of Indian sociology in study of caste
The author comments and laments   at the failure of the Indian sociologists to study the modern caste system comprehensively.
Indian sociology has always tried to relate the caste system to ‘villages, rituals, rites’ and so on. This is a true but partial view that risks of becoming untrue as it overlooks its partiality. we tend to think it’s a rural concept, not prevalent in urban areas- hwhich is incorrect use authors experience in Chinese restaurant. Caste is in fact alive and kicking in the urban middle-class and has had a thoroughly modern makeover.

caste as seen from sociology: what is missing?
The mandal commission report offered a rare window of insight into Indian sociology, while one would have expected the other way round: sociology to shed light on the controvery of caste. Although indian sociologists adopted unpopular stances during Mandal and were strong proponents of the Anti-Mandal position which...


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