The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India

Once known as Pariahs, Dalits are primarily descendants of unfree agrarian laborers They belong to India s most subordinated castes, face overwhelming poverty and discrimination, and provoke public anxiety Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped sources, this book follows the conception and evolution of the Pariah Problem in public consciousness in the 1890s It sOnce known as Pariahs, Dalits are primarily descendants of unfree agrarian laborers They belong to India s most subordinated castes, face overwhelming poverty and discrimination, and provoke public anxiety Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped sources, this book follows the conception and evolution of the Pariah Problem in public consciousness in the 1890s It shows how high caste landlords, state officials, and well intentioned missionaries conceived of Dalit oppression, and effectively foreclosed the emergence of substantive solutions to the Problem with consequences that continue to be felt today.Rupa Viswanath begins with a description of the everyday lives of Dalit laborers in the 1890s and highlights the systematic efforts made by the state and Indian elites to protect Indian slavery from public scrutiny Protestant missionaries were the first non Dalits to draw attention to their plight The missionaries vision of the Pariahs suffering as being a result of Hindu religious prejudice, however, obscured the fact that the entire agrarian political economic system depended on unfree Pariah labor Both the Indian public and colonial officials came to share a view compatible with missionary explanations, which meant all subsequent welfare efforts directed at Dalits focused on religious and social transformation rather than on structural reform Methodologically, theoretically, and empirically, this book breaks new ground to demonstrate how events in the early decades of state sponsored welfare directed at Dalits laid the groundwork for the present day, where the postcolonial state and well meaning social and religious reformers continue to downplay Dalits landlessness, violent suppression, and political subordination.
The Pariah Problem Caste Religion and the Social in Modern India Once known as Pariahs Dalits are primarily descendants of unfree agrarian laborers They belong to India s most subordinated castes face overwhelming poverty and discrimination and provoke public an

  • Title: The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India
  • Author: Rupa Viswanath
  • ISBN: 9780231163064
  • Page: 175
  • Format: Hardcover
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    1. Rupa Viswanath's The Pariah Problem traces the time during which the problem of the Pariah came to the fore. It starts of in the late nineteenth century and continues till the second decade of the 20th century when the problem transformed through various stages.The Panchama or the fifth varna were people who lived outside the chathur varna caste system.They were subjected to inhuman life conditions , living a life of slaves in the feudal agricultural life of India. There were strict strictures w [...]

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