This book examines the politics of social, cultural and political recognition of caste groups in North India. It explores the factors that make some castes politically influential, while others continue to remain socially and economically marginalized. The author situates these groups within democracy and utilizes a multicultural framework to understand why and when various castes have sought to achieve recognition and redistributive justice; to what extent different castes have been able to achieve these goals; and how civil society has engaged with these issues. Unlike dominant discourses on caste and democracy, which give primacy to electoral/procedural democracy over the substantive one, this book views the relationship between castes and the state in both dimensions of democracy.
An important addition to the study of caste politics in India, the volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of social exclusion, development studies, minority studies, sociology and social policy, politics, and South Asian studies. It will also be of importance to politicians, policy makers, and civil society activists.
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About the Author
Jagpal Singh is Professor of Political Science at Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India. He was previously affiliated with Dayal Singh College, Delhi University, and the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India. His areas of specialization are democracy and development, identity politics, politics of recognition, and rural politics. He has taught various courses such as Government and Politics in India, State Politics in India, Social Movements and Politics in India, India: Democracy and Development, and India: State and Society.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Situating Castes: Changing Patterns of Power Relations 2. Caste-Based Public Intellectuals (CBPIs) 3. Quest for Recognition: Social and Cultural Assertion 3. Castes and Political Parties: Politics of Accommodation 4. Castes, Party Preferences and Politics of Recognition 5. Public Action, Castes, and the State Conclusion