Author: Ghanshyam ShahHarsh Mander/Satish DeshpandePublisher: Sage PublicationsYear: 2006Language: EnglishPages: 216ISBN/UPC (if available): 076193507X
This book is a focused and systematic documentation of the incidence and extent of the practice of untouchability in contemporary India. Based on the results of a large survey covering 565 villages in 11 states, it reveals that untouchability continues to be widely prevalent and is practised in one form or another in almost 80 per cent of the villages. Field data is supplemented by information about the forms of discrimination which Dalits face in everyday life, such as:The unclean occupations open to themThe double burden of Dalit women, who suffer both gender and caste discriminationThe upper-caste violence with which any Dalit self-assertion is metThe authors also describe Dalit efforts to overcome deeply entrenched caste hierarchies and assert their right to live with dignity. While the evidence presented here suggests that the more blatant and extreme forms of untouchability appear to have declined, discrimination continues and is most prevalent in the religious and personal spheres. The authors show that the notion of untouchability continues to pervade the public sphere, including a host of state institutions and the interactions that occur within them.Recommended reading for all those interested in social and political rights, and particularly students of sociology and social anthropology.
LIST OF TABLESLIST OF BOXESFOREWORD BY BABU MATHEWPREFACE BY HARSH MANDERIntroduction: Caste, Untouchability and Dalits in Rural IndiaRural Untouchability Today: Forms and SitesUnclean Occupations: Savaged by TraditionDalit Women and the Practice of UntouchabilityViolence against DalitsDemanding Rights, Equality and DignityConclusionAPPENDICESGLOSSARYREFERENCEINDEX ABOUT THE AUTHORS