Gender and Caste

Anupama Rao
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Zed Books Ltd
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The politics of caste in India today are complex and contentious. The material in this book reflects a renewed national debate about caste inaugurated by the Mandal decision in 1989 - a decision that produced a profound transformation of the political debates around caste and identity. It reiterated demands for social justice by dalits and lower-castes that have led to a changed political relationship to upper-caste elites. Dalit-bahujan feminists, from the perspective of the excluded, go beyond arguing that Indian feminism is incomplete and exclusive and suggest that we rethink the genealogy of Indian feminism to engage meaningfully with dalit women's 'difference' from the ideal subjects of feminist politics. They provide a succinct account of the caste and gender discourse and a perspective on the theoretical tendencies that determine its frames of reference. This book, and others in the series, will construct an archive of writing relating to gender issues in India and make an important contribution to contemporary feminist theory.