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Thursday 7 February 2013

Important Articles on Dalits in Economic and Political Weekly

Caste and Entrepreneurship in India
EPW, Vol - XLVIII No. 06, February 09, 2013 | Lakshmi Iyer, Tarun Khanna, and Ashutosh Varshney
It is now widely accepted that the lower castes have risen in Indian politics. Has there been a corresponding change in the economy? Using comprehensive data on enterprise ownership from the Economic Census of 1990, 1998 and 2005, this paper shows there are substantial caste differences in entrepreneurship across India. The scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are significantly under-represented in the ownership of enterprises and the share of the workforce employed by them. These differences are widespread across all states, have decreased very modestly between 1990 and 2005, and cannot be attributed to broad differences in access to physical or human capital.

Delhi Gang Rape Case

Some Uncomfortable Questions

EPW, Vol - XLVIII No. 06, February 09, 2013 | Anand Teltumbde I Margin Speak I Columns
Why is it that heinous crimes -including the rape and murder of Surekha and Priyanka Bhotmange in Khairlanji - against dalits have failed to provoke anger amongst the larger Indian public? Were they any less gruesome than the recent Delhi gang rape? Even in the case of Khairlanji, despite spontaneous dalit protests lasting for over a month in Maharashtra and beyond, not even the so-called progressives had joined them. It was natural therefore that dalits felt alienated from the upmarket uproar against the Delhi gang rape.

Punctuated Solidarities

Caste and Left Politics

EPW, Vol - XLVIII No. 06, February 09, 2013 | Balmurli Natrajan I Commentary
There is now a lot of debate about the possibility of political solidarities across the dalit/non-dalit divide. This debate has layered on to the earlier one about the possibility of solidarities between the dalit and Left movements and the reasons for their failure. This article, using Anand Patwardhan's film, Jai Bhim Comrade, as a point of entry into this debate, is an attempt to find spaces for a political praxis which may allow for such solidarities to emerge and succeed, where others have failed.
My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality. 

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