Uncovering contradictions, Anand Teltumbde-style
as he spends his birthday, 15 July 2020, in jail.
This pack includes:
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. Analysing 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 industrialisation and a republican Constitution—to still be alive and well today, despite all denial, under neoliberal globalisation.
Commanding in its scope, revelatory and unsparing in argument, Republic of Caste amounts to a new map of post-Independence India. Anand Teltumbde identifies the watershed moments of its journey: from the adoption of a flawed Constitution to the Green Revolution, the OBC upsurge and rise of regional parties, up to the nexus of neoliberalism and hindutva in the present day. As a politics of symbolism exploits the fissile nature of caste to devitalise India’s poorest, Teltumbde’s damning analysis shows progressive politics a way out of the present impasse.
‘Republic of Caste is a much-needed intervention in the politics of emancipation. It offers us a critique of the critique’—Gopal Guru, on Republic of Caste
‘Anand Teltumbde’s analysis of the public, ritualistic massacre of a dalit family in 21st century India exposes the gangrenous heart of our society’—Arundhati Roy, on The Persistence of Caste