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Dominant Castes, from Bullock Capitalists to OBCs? The Impact of Class Differentiation in Rural India

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Abstract

Jaffrelot and Kalaiyarasan examines surprising changes in agrarian mobilization in the last decade. After decades of opposing affirmative action, dominant castes are mobilizing to demand affirmative action for themselves. Jaffrelot and Kalaiyaasan show that limited employment generation outside of agriculture, along with agricultural stagnation, has led to economic differentiation among the dominant castes. At the same time, reservations for Other Backward Classes and Dalits have enabled the upper echelons of these groups to earn livelihoods that are more desirable than those of many of the less affluent dominant castes. Members of the dominant castes have responded by demanding to be reclassified as OBCs so that they become eligible for reservations. Jaffrelot and Kalaiyarasan observe that as economic differentiation continues, it will be interesting to see whether mobilization along caste lines persists or whether rural political mobilization enters a new era.
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hal-03037662 , version 1 (03-12-2020)

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Christophe Jaffrelot. Dominant Castes, from Bullock Capitalists to OBCs? The Impact of Class Differentiation in Rural India. John Echeverri-Gent; Kamal Sadiq. Interpreting Politics: Situated Knowledge, India, and the Rudolph Legacy, Oxford University Press, pp.111 - 154, 2020, 9780190125011. ⟨10.1093/oso/9780190125011.003.0005⟩. ⟨hal-03037662⟩
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