The world of the Indian Untouchable is often invisible behind that
of the dominant Hindu caste, but it is of no less significance for
the understanding of contemporary Indian society. The Untouchables,
like the caste Hindu, have been substantially affected by the
political, economic and social changes that are occurring in
independent India. While India has legally abolished
untouchability, the society scarcely has and the Untouchables
continue to face social resistance and deprivation. However, the
changing social circumstances have given rise to a new awareness
and increased expectations among the Untouchables and, although
their social achievements may have been limited, they are engaged
in a process of questioning and reformulating old definitions of
self and society. This book is a study of the new frame of mind of
the Untouchable. The work presents a complete discussion of the
value structure and meaning of Untouchable ideology. It is a subtle
combination of sensitive ethnographic data, taken from a field
study of the Chamars of Lucknow, with an analysis of Untouchable
accounts of their perceptions and experiences expressed in their
own terms and a penetrating interpretation of wider cultural
||Cambridge Studies in Cultural Systems
Ravindra S. Khare
||236 x 152mm (L x W)
Social sciences >
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