• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

Prologue
Prologue

At the height of the anti-Mandal agitation in Delhi, spearheaded by ‘upper’ caste students and legitimated by prominent sociologists of the University of Delhi, I was struck by a photograph prominently displayed in a newspaper showing women college students in Delhi demonstrating in the streets. They were carrying placards that read ‘We don't want unemployed husbands’! The irony of this statement was lost on most readers of English language newspapers—almost all, upper caste themselves—who widely shared the ideology of these protesters. The anti-Mandal agitation was brought about by the government's decision to implement a quota for the OBCs (Other Backward Classes), that is, the castes which are just above the Scheduled Castes and though not ‘untouchable’, have faced discrimination and are socially ‘backward’. This ...

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