By Dipankar Gupta
This quantity deals a brand new realizing of caste in modern India. It argues that the normal view of caste - as a unmarried hierarchy, with Brahmans on the most sensible and the untouchable castes on the backside - is not any longer legitimate. in keeping with fieldwork, the articles during this quantity end up that ritual dominance doesn't verify the character of caste interactions by any means. From politics to gender to financial interplay, the only, natural hierarchy is continually being puzzled and weakened. Castes that when had the prestige of shudras at the moment are claiming, on events, a place better to Brahmans and Kshatriyas; agrarian castes - comparable to Jats, Ahirs and Gujars - are on the political leading edge, taking caste identities outdoor the village; the as soon as passive untouchable castes are actually competitive and militant, and conscious of their rights in a democratic society. This interesting selection of unique articles demonstrates how caste identification this present day demanding situations the outmoded inspiration of a unmarried, all-encompassing hierarchy, in which every one caste co-exists peacefully.
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Extra resources for Caste in Question: Identity or Hierarchy (Contributions to Indian Sociology: Occasional Studies, 12)
To return to Ashishs case, I was told that, excepting his grandfather, Ashishs family was held in contempt due to his fathers alcoholism and his gross misbehaviour after his drinking bouts. It was hinted to Ashish by his biradari-walas that, if he so liked, he could sell off his house and property to the other Dagars. Ashish chose to ignore these hints. Since then he has taken up a private job as a driver in Mahendergarh, while his wife and child are staying with his relatives in a different village.
20 / PREM CHOWDHRY up to Class X and generally knowledgeable, she maintained that there was no law of the land which could force her to acknowledge her husband as her brother. Showing tremendous agency and spirit, she also approached the police for help against the illegal ways of the panchayat. ) Critical of the caste panchayat, she voiced her strong resentment against its arbitrary decisions. It was she who defied its verdict by refusing to accept Ashish as her brother. She also greatly resented having been subjected to the humiliating ritual of unveiling in the full assembly of the village.
They were not even granted visiting rights. Their male child was exempt from this punishment, clearly on the grounds of patrilineage and sharing of blood. The other forty members of this family in Jondhi were allowed to stay in the village, but were expelled from the biradari for two years. After two years they could request the Jondhi caste panchayat for a review in order to seek re-admission to the biradari. Till then there was to be complete social boycott of the family. Their huqqa-pani with other members of the village was banned.
Caste in Question: Identity or Hierarchy (Contributions to Indian Sociology: Occasional Studies, 12) by Dipankar Gupta