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Updated: March 22, 2013 00:46 IST

Caste, corruption and romanticism

Kancha Ilaiah
Comment (33)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

The Dalit-Bahujan theory or Ambedkarism cannot negotiate with funny theories of sociologists like Ashis Nandy. The best way to counter them is to write a better theory

Utsa Patnaik, a noted economist said in a small note that she circulated “Ashis Nandy had earlier made approving remarks on the 1988 Deorala burning to death of a young widow in the name of sati (terming it a courageous act in a piece in the Indian Express), and more recently has reportedly made a factually baseless, highly offensive comment on Dalits and corruption. Given the crudity of these positions one wonders how ‘nuanced’ and ‘ironic’ can an academic get. There is nothing here to surprise us, for Nandy has always projected a consistent intellectual position.

“His writings, starting from The Intimate Enemy clearly represent an Indianised version of Romanticism, the much-analysed trend of thinking which valorises pre-capitalist traditions, local cultures and subjectivities while critically opposing the rationalism and homogenizing values of industrial capitalism.” This is a perceptive observation of Mr. Nandy’s academic romanticism. Such romaticisation of caste and culture has deeper scholastic roots.

‘High against low’

Mr. Nandy is not alone in positioning the cultural character of Indian society in a top down manner and romanticising the cultural ethos of ‘high as against low.’ This has been the cultural morale of the so-called mainstream sociological scholarship in India. The caste/class background of Indian sociologists, what they see and study in Indian society, is presented as normative and the victims of the social process are expected to affirm those theories.

This sociological methodology was invented by M.N. Srinivas who studied the Indian caste system from his own cultural standpoint and designated the process of perceived change as Sanskritisation. A systemic role was assigned to an ancient Indian language, which was already dead. Yet he turned that into a theoretical category. Its use was only in the Hindu ritual realm at that time and no Brahmin family was using that language in day-to-day life. That linguistic-cultural construction was deployed as positivist and modernist. He romanticised the so-called ‘low castes imitating the high castes,’ so much so that the whole academic discourse in India sought to be mesmerised; it was also projected as a creative utopia.

The Dalit-Bahujan life was essentially culturally inclusive as against the Brahminic exclusionism. Srinivas picked up some common food practices between Brahminic and Dalit-Bahujan (who ate vegetables alongside meat foods historically and discovered many vegetarian food items) and asserted that the lower castes were getting Sansrkitised. He discovered that Sanskritisation among the lower castes was deterministic and transformative. It was to suggest that no other forms of lower caste mobilisation were required. Though sociologists like A.R. Desai disagreed with this pseudo-transformation theory, they were ruthlessly marginalised.

Polygamy and divorce

Another noted sociologist, Andre Beteille, found Sanskritisation taking place at a systemic level on a continuous basis. He said: “Divorce, separation, polygamy etc., were common among the Dalits. The fact that they consider divorce bad is the impact of Sanskritization.” What does he mean by saying polygamy was ‘common’ among Dalits? Does he mean every second Dalit man had/has more than one wife? What about Brahmin men? Not even one in thousand was/is polygamous? Was polygamy rare among Brahmins and Kshatriyas? Where did he get his statistics about ‘Dalit polygamy’ being common and Brahmin polygamy being uncommon or rare? One hopes that the census data would include caste and polygamy relationship among all castes and religions.

His assertion that “they [Dalits] consider divorce bad” because of Sanskritisation is believed to be normative. How would he theorise the increased divorce rates among the upper castes — particularly among Brahmins? Is there no opposite linguistic-cultural concept for that? Shall we call it Palisation, as Pali was the mass language when Sanskrit was the court language? Or if we say that the process of upper castes opting for increased divorce or meat eating should be theorised as Dalitisation, what would they say? Would they not ask: what is this concept called Dalitisation?

Yet another sociologist, Dipankar Gupta, studied the Indian caste system very seriously and told the United Nations Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) examining ‘Discrimination based on descent’ in 2007, that “Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Baniyas, Shudras and Dalits no more exist in India.” Is this romanticisation or mesmerisation of Indian sociology?

Corruption not a commodity

Ashis Nandy, a noted social-psychologist, spread the theoretical net of corruption to all the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. He discovered that the ‘most’ corrupt in Indian society came from these social groups. Has he not followed in the footsteps of MNS’ theory of “lower castes imitate the higher castes?” Does not such a statement romanticise corruption? And does not such location of ‘corruption’ among the poorest of poor endanger the whole social science discourse? Corruption is not a commodity that becomes accessible for every human being on the street. It operates, as the Sanskrit language operated among the bhoodevatas, among those who have money and power. Power among the upper castes of India is like the thread in a garland. It connects with the other quite coherently. This is not true of Dalit-Bahujan castes. A few here and there in real power (only Mayawati was in that category) structures do not and cannot connect to the most poverty ridden masses.

Several commentators, including Utsa Patnaik, pointed out that Mr. Nandy supported Sati, the theory of Mohan Bhagawat that Bharat is ‘rape free’ while ‘India is rapist,’ as it was influenced by western capitalism. It was like saying that ‘feudal rape is pure and capitalist rape is impure.’ Mr. Nandy is a Gandhian democrat. He imbibed Gandhism through Nehruvian ideology. For Gandhi, castes were necessary to maintain the balance of social system. For Nehru, corruption was the necessary greasing oil for the state engine to run. Mr. Nandy transforms this greasing oil theory into a theory of ‘social equaliser.’

‘Republican Utopia’

For his mode of Indian sociology, SC/ST/OBCs travelling ticketless in trains is equivalent to upper caste air travel with a stay in a five star hotel, without spending money from their personal account. This theory resembles the sociological theory of Andre Beteille that when Dalits eat vegetarian they get equalised with Brahmins. Mr. Nandy discovered a majestic ‘Republican Utopia’ in the Indian mode of corruption.

If “Sanskritisation” and “corruption” become part of the “Republican Utopia,” that republican utopia would match neither the ancient republican dream of Plato nor the late medieval utopian dream of Thomas More. Caste is a concrete thing at hand as slavery and class were in Europe. There is no positive sense in the notion or practice of corruption. As death cannot equalise human life, corruption cannot equalise castes. There is no way that the Dalit-Bahujan theory or Ambedkarism could negotiate with this funny theory. Neither could democratic or Marxist theory.

Equaliser theory

Since the upper castes are already corrupt, an equaliser theory is invented in the very life of Dalit-Bahujan. As the Dalit-Bahujan have no theoretical resource to counter such theories, some rushed to the police station to stop this kind of theorisation. Mr. Nandy had an intellectual answer for that recourse. “I will sit in jail and write a bigger theory.” He cites Gandhi and Nehru writing their theories in jail.

At this stage, the Dalit democratic movement cannot afford to send such theoreticians to jail and give more credence to their theories. Let it not be forgotten that there is no living Ambedkar among us to write better theory without ever going to jail. Dr. Ambedkar overtook Nehru in a recent survey with his unparalleled theory of ‘Dalit democracy’ as the equaliser. In due course, he will also overtake Gandhiji in greatness. The best way to put this kind of sociology in its place is to burn more midnight oil to write a better theory of Dalit sociological imagination — not of utopia.

(The author is Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad)

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@Velamur: I'd like to disagree with you at some extent. you said 65 years of reservation could not help produce Dalit intellectuals of repute. this is a bit false statement. because, indeed it has created many intellectuals but those are mostly confined to regional or vernacular languages, because of their education in vernacular language, take an example of intellectuals form maharashtra..
The Hindu is essentially English platform thus it can not be exploited by those who are adept in vernacular langauages..

from:  suraj
Posted on: Mar 24, 2013 at 12:30 IST

Counter theories reflect the unending racial competition. Reverse
discrimination is completely neglected in many organisations and
institutions.Corruption has nothing to do with caste but with class
and economical status. Instead of introspecting this larger issue the history is exploited selectively to aggravate the current social scenario prevailing in our country."Dr. Ambedkar overtook Nehru in a recent survey with his unparalleled theory of ‘Dalit democracy’ as the equaliser.In due course, he will also overtake Gandhiji in greatness" The best way to put this kind of sociology in its place is to burn more midnight oil to write a better theory of Dalit sociological
imagination". The above lines are reflections of personal opinion, as Gandhian and Nehruvian contributions are different and surveys cannot rewrite the past.

from:  Chandramouli
Posted on: Mar 23, 2013 at 15:22 IST

The article is a well studied scholastic piece that deserve appreciation. In the last paragraph the author pointed out what a socially sensitive citizen like to see in the Indian society where Ambedkar, Peiyar and Narayana Guru have paved the way for transformation and inclusive growth. The article shed light into the dark and hidden views of post modern intellectualls those who pretend to be inclined towards dalit issue.

from:  Appde Rajeevan
Posted on: Mar 23, 2013 at 15:21 IST

Kancha Ilaiah dwelt only on Sanskritisation and Brahminism. Sanskrit is a dead language and so is Sanskritisation. The ground reality of the day is that Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Baniyas alongwith Muslims form a powerful minority group which from now onwards shall decide leadership of the country. Win of Samajwadi Party in UP is an example where the above mentioned minority group ousted Dalit leader Mayawati. Even when she came to power earlier she had the support of Brahmnins and Muslims. Similarly the present government in UP is ruled by a powerful OBC group with whom Dalits do not mingle.

from:  ARVIND GULERIA
Posted on: Mar 23, 2013 at 12:12 IST

The above author mentions Dr. MN Srinivas and his theory of
Sanskritization, and alludes to Sanskrit as a dead language, having
no place in the daily use of a Brahmin's life. However, he
conveniently forgets that Sanskrit was MEANT for ritualistic
purposes only and not as a daily household language.
Secondly, as regards the diatribe against Dr. Andre Beteille, no one
has stopped the author from using or propagating the concept of Dalitisation or Palisation. Do so by all means, it is an interesting angle- worth researching and arriving at a conclusive conclusion.
Thirdly, there is no point in making a statement (howsoever esoteric it may be intended to sound), like- " Power among upper castes of India is like the thread in a garland". It is odd that the very points he is objecting to- he is gladly applying the same to the upper castes( e.g ' Since the upper castes are already corrupt, an egalitarian theory is invented in the very life of Dalit Bahujans')- contradiction in terms??

from:  Monica SharmaBajpai
Posted on: Mar 23, 2013 at 00:01 IST

kancha came at the forefront to shield mr. nandy from violent action of many pressure group some month ago,and now he appeared with some concrete logical wisdom.from my graduation days he was quoted as dalit chintak(philosopher) but now i am going to rethink my perception because he is not radical one.he presented his idea with a rational insight to enlighten our subconsciously biased theories.history has long course,so it is unwise to construct a conservative simulation as done by many sociologists.since mr. nandy reiterated it many times about his intention,so i would suggest humbly to leave this discussion as a product of loose comment

from:  amit yadav
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 22:43 IST

Corruption and casteism are two exclusive entities. The author talks
about sanskritisation which was coined by M.N Srinivas. There are many
theories which did research on Indian caste system and projected their
view. Large number of theories with their conflicting views have made
sanskritisation for lower caste people next to impossibile.

from:  ranjithp
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 20:29 IST

When Muslim people belonging to the so-called 'Ajlaf' or 'lower classes/castes' began to move upward economically many also adopted fictitious surnames indicating Arab origins or putting their women in strict 'purdah' (which was not the case earlier, since the women took part in their professional activities equally with men. That phenomenon too was described by sociologists and anthropologists as a process of 'Sanskritization.' I'm surprised by the facile nature of the above criticism of a theoretical and analytical concept whose name could easily be changed to Arabization or Arabicization.
One expected much more from Prof. Ilaiah. But I do hope his piece convinces someone not to persecute or prosecute Ashis Nandy, who, to my understanding, only claimed that a majority of people charged with major corruption NOW seem to be Dalit/Bahujan, and then added rather cavalierly that he approved of it. One may, of course, object to his display of or taste in humour at a public meeting.

from:  C. M. Naim
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 19:41 IST

I wish to state here from my personal experiences and watching the
happenings around the villages and towns in Tamilnadu for the last five
decades, the Dalits who have gained economic prosperity do not care for
the poor dalits and avoid them in social gatherings or marital
alliances. The educational and employment opportunities are seized by
the wealthy lower castes and those who have remained poor in that
category continue to struggle.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 19:08 IST

Really I agree with you Prof. K.Ilaiah sir. In current scenario of Indian society this article will change the thinking behavior of upper cast people.and it will very helpful to understand reality of these cast system in India...

from:  M.O. Amanullah
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 18:55 IST

This article contains more emotion than content/No homework.
1.) How many times will Mr Kancha change his statement?
2.) His problem with Upper caste particularly brahmins is quite evident. First I don't know how can he particularly say about just a 4% minority brahmins for all the failures of dalits? Well he must know most dalit emancipators were Brahmins and other uppercastes without them they would still be under shackles. Ambedkar would have hold no value if Nehru, gandhi and others wouldn't have let him speak.
3.) Well if saying dalit, harijan is wrong then pointing out brahmin at every sentence is also wrong. Castism end with intent of ending not crying "wolf" again and again. Reservations and casteism go hand in hand.
4.) While it is in caste census that 17.4 percent of dalits hold govt. position while having only 16.4 percent of population of India then how come reservations are still active?
5.) Sanskritisization is not related to any language.

from:  Mir aslam
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 18:03 IST

When it comes to caste system I believe it was/is NOT right to organize
our society in that way.The article is excellent except its view on
Gandhi and Nehru.There is no need to rank Gandhi,Nehru and Ambedkar.They
all were great.

from:  Rajhans
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 17:33 IST


Kancha Ilaiah, Dalit-Bahujan theory is laudable, which has positively
contributed to bring more equality among different castes and religious
groups within India.

However, I disagree the statement on Dr. Ambedkar overtaking Gandhiji
in greatness. Both may be equal in a balanced way.

from:  Sashi Mozumder
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 16:14 IST

I would congratulate the author on writing such a brilliant comment.
No social theory can best describe the India society. We are more of
Hippocratic than realistic in our thinking. We want to project India
as great nation sanctifying all vices as virtues. I am amazed that
Gandhi viewed caste system as a necessary evil to maintain the
balance of social system and Nehru felt corruption necessary as
greasing oil for the state engine to run.
Any idea should not be imbibed for that may be propagated by great
people. We must apply our senses to judge any idea as good or bad and
then act on them. There are many people who have nothing useful to do
and they engage in creating some sort of uproar in public and reap
dividend. The best way is to discard their prejudiced ideas straight
forward.
The Indian social system is in a transition state and the system of
caste and other discrimination is diluting.

from:  Shashikant Nishnat Sharma
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 15:10 IST

This rebuttal makes just as many unjust generalizations as the
original comment by Nandy. In trashing Nandy's comment, this author
seems to be releasing all his pent-up ire against upper castes, whom
he wrongly terms as just Brahmins. Also, Sanskritization has little to
do with the language itself being alive or dead.

It is sad that this caste debate in India has remained "us versus
them" for so long. This is probably because there is no true mobility
within castes even today, and few people have access to both sides to
form a balanced view.

from:  Chira
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 14:52 IST

@Dr. Abdul Jamil Khan: Kindly refer to the works of Prof. Nikolas
Kazanas of Greece and kindly update yourself with the recent works on
Indian history.

@Sanjay: If Nandy's comment and comments like all muslims are terrorists
are abhorring, so also the comment and the fact that Brahmins are
casteist. Logic applies on either way and not just one.

from:  Dr. Ramanathan
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 14:24 IST

I would like to add that the so called pseudo
sociologists and intellectuals might have developed their academic
brilliance but not the true brains.For example we have been viewing in
the media that some of the top brass like presidents of India, though
they are excellent in their own fields but when they visit "Babas"
,they just prostrate before them forgetting the sanctity of the post
they are holding and the self respect of 120 crores of people of
India.
Same line of descendent is mr AshisNandy who might have
developed his academic brilliance but not the true aspects of life.If
otherwise,he could have not made such crude comments against OBCs and
Dalits. Now a days one are two stray cases of corruption of these are
coming to light .This shows that these are simply following the foot
steps of the so called Forward castes who have already made inroads in
the field of corruption . Therefore Amebdkar-like - writings are not
necessary to these pygmies.

from:  L.Ramachandrayya
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 13:03 IST

I remember Kanch Ilaiah’ s response to Ashis Nandy’s statement that “ I know him from the past 25 years as a sociologist, his statement was misinterpreted by the media and was taken only a bit from a one hour long speech. Today after reading the article caste, corruption and romanticism, I feel even academicians changing their words according to the situation. Kanch Ilaiah does not have constituency or does not have philosophy. His philosophy changes from time to time…

from:  shyam
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 12:47 IST

Universally and time memorial, the fact is that the rich and powerful normally have the upper say in the society, the supressed and insecured community becomes volatile irrespective of caste and creed. Thus in the societal setup the policies of the government should be to empower the people and remove the inequality stigma prevailing in the society and bring all of the common people in the main stream of growth of economy.

from:  Mukesh
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 12:45 IST

This article is also suffering from sentimentalism. The writer suggests
that our sociologists conclusions are made without statistical support ,
this argument is very close to reality. But , the author of this article
is also suffering from same approach. Comparative study of our national
heroes will take away us from reality to again in the hands of
romanticism.

from:  pranesh sharma
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 12:24 IST

beautifully written article thoroughly enjoyed it .. writer has done his
home work well.. :)

from:  vishal bangarh
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 11:17 IST

Kancha Illaiah has shown his complete ignorance of sociological
research methodology. He seems to believe that if a sociological
theory shows a particular caste group in an inferior light, all that
needs to be done is to invent another theory which shows the reverse.
He fails to understand that such agenda driven research and
theorization cannot sustain the rigour of academic scrutiny for long.

A sociological theory like "Sanskritization" gains international
respect not because of any political support of a particular group but
because of its ability to explain the current society, and more
importantly its ability to predict future trends. A serious
sociological test hypothesis cannot be formulated with a predefined
conclusion. Instead of burning more midnight oil to write a better
theory of Dalit sociological imagination it would be more fruitful to
test competing theories on the anvil of empirical corroboration in an
agenda free manner.

from:  Abhilash Shastry
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 11:05 IST

Most of us will agree that Nandy's remark was abhorrent to say the
least was just another example of mindless stereotyping without any
statistical basis. Similar examples being: all muslims are terrorists,
all women wearing mini-skirts attract rapes, all capitalists are tax-
evaders etc. These stereotypes are reminiscent of our own innate
prejudices which keep coming out from time to time. Like terror has no
religion, corruption also has no caste. Let us not glorify the corrupt
while trivializing the issue of corruption like Nandy tried to do! The
author has remarkably pointed out the fallacies in sociological
theories but he himself must not stereotype all sociologists as being
anti-backward castes. The current economic model of welfare-capitalism
provides equal opportunities to all citizens, and whether people accept
it or not, social mobility is a real fact.

from:  sanjay
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 10:41 IST

MN Srinivas was not mentioning the language or the adoption of the
language when he coined the word Sanskritisation. also it is not fair
to say that he considered only sanskritisation as the only way of
upward mobility. In fact, in his book The Remembered Village, Srinivas
also writes abt youngsters from political parties which aid in the
upward mobility of the low castes, in ways other than the adoption of
Brahmin techniques. another important point here is the difference in
ritual position and social position. Sanskritisation process was not
the imitation of the Brahmin castes only, instead it was the imitation
of the locally dominant castes, which in most cases were NOT brahmins.
they were instead castes with local political, numerical and
proprietary power.

from:  lakshmi
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 10:03 IST

Kancha ILahi is sharp in pointing out as to how & why the Trickle down
theory is not working with majority.In Valmiki-Tulsidas divide of
Minority-Majority,Sanskrit-Khadi Boli the Tulsidas was bashed because
he dared to write Ramayan in common men language.However there is no
additional need to burn midnight oil to evolve a new theory for
majority people as centre of gravity for GLOBAL majority although in
different set up is already shifting say in the case of election of
Pope Francis.This means only participation and peoples pressure change
change the practise as theory remains only an ornament on paper-Rakesh
Manchanda-Zambia.

from:  Rakesh Manchanda
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 09:57 IST

What a splendid take on recent controversy on pros and cons of Nandi
comments on corruption among SC, ST and OBCs.

After reading this article I am indeed enthused to burn Mid-Night oil
more often to pose counter argument to "status-quoist" theorisation of
modern sociologist.

from:  Sushil Kumar
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 09:50 IST

The academic response by Dr.Kancha Ilaiah is welcome. This is befitting reply rather than the FIR. The social equaliser theory, expounded by Dr. Ashish Nandy, is very unfortunate. As rightly pointed, out such romanticism is unhealthy and can only delay India's quest for true democracy.

from:  T Sandeep
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 09:05 IST

(1) Posterity will decide who served humanity better and who served a
section of the society. (2) Dalits in general and Dalit leaders in
particular do very little self-examination and that is why they think
that there is only one God who lived on this earth. Those who think
rationally cannot accept this theory. (3) It will be better for the
entire society if each one among the Dalit communities as also higher
castes do a very critical self-examination of present ills in their
respective societies. (4) At present we fight among ourselves for an
undue or bigger share of the cake (of power and wealth). This fight
should end. (5) It may be politically prudent and beneficial for
electoral gains to forge a unity of OBCs, Dalits etc., but what is the
reality? Dalits cannot get united and fight among themselves. They
have hardly made any efforts to bury the sub-castes among themselves
and there are various factions of Dalit political parties on the basis
of such sub-castes.

from:  Narendra M Apte
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 07:57 IST

Ambedhkerism,Abrahimism,& Brahmanism, Varieties of Racism.
Indian system with 4 caste division has closest parallel in in Abrahamism ,rooted in 3 sons of NOAH--pure myth never a history and ingeniously integrated( by british/french)to Aryan/indo-euro and semitic linguistic racism--people still follow slavishly as history.My work, on urdu/hindi out of africa and Malti shingde's " Akkadian to Sanskrit" unsettles all these fictions. Linguistic racism is just a fraud.Indians are from Africa and mideast and constitute a " melting pot" still evolving.
Polyandry was specific to " hunter gatherer" with shortage of women and was in practice all over with Female Goddesses; With farming's advent ( 12000 yrs ago)in mideast, M:F ratio first became 1:1 and with later warfares female excess led to polygamy;India shows both varieties; Religiousn dogmas were the window dressings.
It will be really great if we give up all racism/caste system, possible only by constitutional amendment.

from:  Dr abdul jamil khan
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 07:20 IST

Mr. Kanchi Ilaiah, Pls write strongly about the fact " Caste is the very first Corruption ", a
tricky strategy with in religion. there is no reason for the justification of Caste as it is practised
by a cult group who scared the rest by myths and rituals. Even if Gandhi advocated it it is still
the worst form of corruption.

from:  Kris
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 06:25 IST

I agree with Kancha Ilaiah that Dalits have to evolve better theories to counter the
'sanskritisation' paradigm of Indian social theories. Such theories are possible not by
closing our eyes to sanskritisation processes that persist despite the
disempowerment of 'upper castes'. We need to grasp why Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj
strategy had to transform itself into a Sarvajan Samaj strategy.
This is the right time to dismantle armchair theories of caste and of their decline by
evolving an alternative model that grasps the tendencies for the reproduction of
social inclusion and exclusion processes inherent in India's diversity of which caste is
a byeprodct! Why is it that some Maha Dalits are now seeking to break out of the
tyranny of being categorised as Dalits? A new theory/paradigm requires deeper
introspection as well as empathy apart from commitment to account for what is
happening in the world that lies beyond the circuits of academic festivals and
conferences!

from:  Mysore Narasimhan Panini
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 05:51 IST

Mr. Ilaiah confesses the intellectual barrenness among Dalits and finds fault with
upper caste intellectuals who have their own theories regarding the Dalits. What
should be noted is that the 65 years of reservation policy has not helped produce
Dalit intellectuals of repute and the few that are available take the brunt of the
critique.There is no denying the fact that a "scheduled caste elite" has emerged in
free India , which has cornered all the benefits available under the reservation
policies of the various governments and they are denying the same to less
fortunate bretheren. Specially in AP, the Malas and Madigas are the dominant
Dalits and they practice discrimination against the other sub castes among dalits.
This is well documents and not new. These so called emancipated dalits do
practice many vestiges of Brahminic culture and desire to be accepted as equal to
the upper castes, thanks to their economic upliftment. This clould be the purport
of the Nandys and others.

from:  velamur
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 01:41 IST

As my history readings claim, irrespective of male chauvinism associated
with the Brahmins the scheduled castes had a wider vision of men-women
equality. Maybe it can be accounted to the working of dalit men and
women together in the fields. According to a research paper published by
a scholar of MG University Kerala, women in Dalit families where given
equal importance as men and no decisions in the family were made without
the approval of women in the house. Polygamy would had never happened in
such a society, without getting inspired from higher castes.

from:  aswin
Posted on: Mar 22, 2013 at 01:14 IST
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