Caste and Consequences Looking Through the Lens of Violence

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G. C. Pal




Caste, a social institution in India, has significant implications on social legislations, affirmative action and group-specific development policies. In the modern society, the traditional caste structure however continues to nurture the unequal social interaction process among caste groups. This often translates into various forms of human rights violations against the groups at the bottom of caste hierarchy. The key concern is that resistance to such violations often leads to ‘caste violence’ of different forms. Although a body of literature that explains this caste phenomenon in the discourse of human rights and social justice, its larger consequences remains a neglected dimension. This paper, drawing evidence from a series of empirical research on ‘mapping caste-based violence’ in contemporary Indian society, sheds light on diverse consequences of real or perceived violence, emanating from ‘caste’. The analysis reveals that consequences of caste violence are manifested in social, economic, psychological and moral terms. The ‘victims of violence’ speak the language of suffering and deprivation in different spheres of life, having a bearing on the basic human needs of ‘belongingness’ democratic honour and ‘sense of security’. The apathetic attitude and slow response of state machinery towards caste violence often accentuate the social conditions to make the ‘victims of violence’ and their communities fall into the vicious cycle of caste oppressions and increased vulnerability to poor human development.

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How to Cite
Pal, G. (2020). Caste and Consequences. CASTE / A Global Journal on Social Exclusion, 1(1), 95-110.
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