The Untouchables: Subordination, Poverty and the State in Modern India

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 30, 1998 - History - 289 pages
"In a sensitive and compelling account of the lives of those at the very bottom of Indian society, Oliver Mendelsohn and Marika Vicziany explore the construction of the Untouchables as a social and political category, the historical background which led to such a definition, and their position in India today. The authors argue that, despite efforts to ameliorate their condition on the part of the state, a considerable edifice of discrimination persists on the basis of a tradition of ritual subordination. Even now, therefore, it still makes sense to categorise these people as 'Untouchables'. The book promises to make a major contribution to the social and economic debates on poverty, while its wide-ranging perspectives will ensure an interdisciplinary readership from historians of South Asia, to students of politics, economics, religion and sociology."--Publisher description.
 

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Contents

Who are the Untouchables?
1
The question of the Harijan atrocity
44
Religion politics and the Untouchables from the nineteenth century to 1956
77
Public policy I antidiscrimination and compensatory discrimination
118
Public policy II the antipoverty programs
147
The new Untouchable proletariat a case study of the Faridabad stone quarries
176
Untouchable politics and Untouchable politicians since 1956
203
The question of reservation the lives and careers of some Scheduled Caste MPs and MLAs
238
Subordination poverty and the state in modern India
258
Bibliography
272
Index
284
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