The Persistence of Caste

The Persistence of Caste While The Caste System Has Been Formally Abolished Under The Indian Constitution, According To Official Statistics, Every Eighteen Minutes A Crime Is Committed On A Dalit The Gouging Out Of Eyes, The Hacking Off Of Limbs And Being Burned Alive Or Stoned To Death Are Routine In The Atrocities Perpetrated Against India S 170 Million Dalits What Drives People To Commit Such Inhuman Crimes The Persistence Of Caste Uses The Shocking Case Of Khairlanji, The Brutal Murder Of Four Members Of A Dalit Family In 2006, To Explode The Myth That Caste No Longer Matters Analyzing Context And Crime, It Seeks To Locate This Event In The Political Economy Of The Development Process India Has Followed After Independence Teltumbde Demonstrates How Caste Has Shown Amazing Resilience Surviving Feudalism, Capitalist Industrialization And A Republican Constitution To Still Be Alive And Well Today, Despite All Denial, Under Neoliberal Globalization. This book explores the atrocities committed against the dailts in India in recent times Centered around the ghastly Khairlangi massacre of 2006, the book busts several myths that make us believe that caste based oppression is passe Drawing from a credible list of sources, the author explains how the state and its very institutions administration, police, judiciary meant to safeguard the dalits against oppression often turn oppressors In spite of having a liberal Constitution as also enactment of strong pieces of legislation to prevent caste based atrocities, the book reveals how various loopholes still exist which are suitably exploited by the perpetrators to their advantage in collusion with police and judiciary thereby resulting in a poor conviction rates vis a vis the crimes committed In the twenty first century India, where economic growth catalysed by the reforms of the early Nineties was expected to dilute the cast
The Persistence of Caste The Khairlanji Murders India s Hidden Appartheid Anand Teltumbde, Zed Books, 2010Reviewed by Graham MulliganThe introduction section of this short book 192 pages is important It is a condensed history of Caste in India The word caste is from Latin castus, and in Portugese means pure or chaste The early Portugese explorers thought it was like race or lineage blood based They were wrong but it is a form of social stratification, which this book explores in detail with respect to how history now shapes the idea and reality.The Indian word for caste is jati, which is often confused with varna Varna refers to the four classes of Hindu scripture They are professional orders Brahmins priestly castes kshatriyas warrior castes vaishyas business or trading castes and shudras working castes like artisans, agriculturalists, hunters, fishers and the like However, there are thousands of jatis.The three upper varnas were called dwija, the twice born, denoting the second birth of the ceremony upanayana, which marks entry into the world of formal learning education Only men could do this Shudras could not participate In addition, those excluded form the caste system, the outcastes d
the only way i d be able to shut up about this book is if i were to physically eat it so only time will tell Anand Teltumbde s research is impeccable He shows how caste ideology has survived every political system since 1500 BC Using an account of the 2006 massacre of the Bhotmange family as focal point, Teltumbde shows that the caste
Brilliant analysis of the Khairlanji incident where a family of rural Dalits were raped, tortured and then murdered by the other caste Hindus in the village Teltumbde outlines carefully the complicity of the local administration in ignoring the conflicts and the warnings that led up to the atrocity and then subsequently where the legal and police machinery of the state did their utmost to block, slow down and then cover up the reality of the incident and then attempted to avoid bringing the charged to any form of justice.Also important is Teltumbde s analysis of why conventional answers that are meant to remove the persistence of caste such as globalisation and economic development, bahujan politics, reservations and adminstrative meliorative measures have not done much to improve the situation In many cases, such as the sprea
This can almost be read as a complementary text to B.R Ambedkar s The Annihilation of Caste, for the work, while recognizing Ambedkar s importance and relevance to the Dalit mindset and daily life, also lets out in no uncertain terms that Ambedkarism has progressively been rendered insufficient if not completely irrelevant by caste enduring modernization and neoliberalism A Teltumbde sees caste based horror killings as mostly featuring borderliners as the two sides the Dalits avarnas as the victims and the Shudras lowest rung of the chaturvarna as the oppressors The Shudras have benefited from relationship changes due to modernization in the post independence era the status, the power and the pelf that quite a few of them have gotten out of being owners and entrepreneurs in the agricultural space provide reasons enough for them to continue being staunch defendants of the status quo quite like the Brahmins of the past and the present.The Shudras can be seen as a partial victory of the globalization model this model flatters to deceive in the case of the Dalits and Adivasis A Teltumbde spends quite a bit of time dissecting the existential crises faced by the ex untouchables both while playing to the system and fighting it The psychology of the two sides is beautifully brought out The
Khairlanji Murders and many of such caste atrocities our reality, India s everyday reality.The world needs tolerance and the word caste needs to be removed from the dictionary.