The continuous demand for Gendering Caste: Through a Feminist Lens (2003) led to this revised edition which analyses the recent socio-economic and political changes that have taken place. Caste-based marriage and control over women's sexuality have been crucial for the continuation of the caste system in India. Thus, caste and gender are linked. Brutal reprisals have followed when dalits and women have tried to challenge caste-based marriage and inequality which allots strict rules of conduct for women and all dalits.
The result is that although I try to forget my caste, it is impossible to forget. And then I remember an expression that I heard somewhere: ‘What comes by birth and can't be cast off by dying—that is caste.’
—Kumud Pawade, Antasphot
Changing Perspectives on Caste
Since our main concern in this work is with the way caste has shaped the lives of women of all castes, whether ‘high’ or ‘low’, it is necessary for us to begin with an examination of the ideology and practice of the caste system which is amongst the most significant factors bearing upon the lives of all women and all men in India, albeit in very distinctive ways. In a deeply hierarchical society like ours, it is not ...