"Caste, Identity & Dalit movements in contemporary South India" a talk by Dr. K. Satyanarayana at Teen Murti House, Teen Murti Marg > 3pm on 16th April 2013 - Delhi Events
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"Caste, Identity & Dalit movements in contemporary South India" a talk by Dr. K. Satyanarayana at Teen Murti House, Teen Murti Marg > 3pm on 16th April 2013

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Time : 3:00 pm

Entry : Free (Seating on First-Come First-Served basis)

Place : Seminar Room, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML), Teen Murti House, Teen Murti Marg, New Delhi
Venue Info :  Events About Map | Nearest Metro Station - 'Race Course(Yellow Line)'

Event Description : The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library cordially invites you to a Public Lecture in the ‘Interrogating Social Justice’ series on 'Caste, Identity and Dalit movements in contemporary South India' by Dr. K. Satyanarayana, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.

Abstract : This paper maps the dalit reconfiguration of caste in modern India. It is in the dalit upsurge of creative, cultural and theoretical writing from South India, the shift in the concept of caste both as politics and identity is pronounced. Through a critique of the dominant social scientific academic scholarship, the paper attempts to track the question of caste in the dalit social and literary movements. The commonly held idea that caste is a remnant of a pre-modern, hierarchical, purity-pollution formation specific to Hindu religion was produced and is reinforced by the social sciences, especially the sociological and anthropological studies. The empirical and ethnographic methods employed by the sociological and anthropological studies reified caste as a traditional institution and constructed ‘objective reality’ of caste as a system. The political sociologists revised this view suggesting that the modern institutions of Indian democracy transformed and modernized caste in post Independent India. In this broad framework of tradition vs. modernity, caste is consigned to the domain of Indian tradition. It was in the late 70’s that dalit leaders, writers and scholars began their attempts to shape a new concept of caste. They critiqued and rejected the perspectives and the social science methods that produced “the caste system.” Invoking experience and fashioning new identities in the sphere of dalit literary culture, they relocated and reconfigured caste as contemporary form of power. In this new formulation, caste structures social relations (including personal relations) and state action and it works in updated forms in modern contexts and institutions. In other words, caste is modern and subjective. It is renovated to include the idea of a group as ‘a social collective’ or ‘a community.’ This ‘community’ articulates its political identity as a dalit identity of a collection of untouchable castes or sometimes as a specific untouchable caste identity in order to negotiate its relation and status with other groups and demand a rightful share in the nation. It is through the politics of mobilization and self- representation in the 1980s and 1990s; the dalit intelligentsia and activists change the meaning of caste as a traditional and static system and redeploy the notion of caste as a form of representation and contemporary politics.

Speaker : Dr. K. Satyanarayana is Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies, English and Foreign Languages University (EFL-U), Hyderabad. Active in the student movement during the 1990s, he was founder-general secretary of Kula Nirmoolana Porata Samiti (Forum for Caste Annihilation). He also edited the little magazine Kulanirmoolana. His research interests are in the field of dalit studies and literary history. He is co-editor of No Alphabet in Sight: dossier I (2011) and Steel Nibs Are Sprouting: dossier II (2013).

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"Caste, Identity & Dalit movements in contemporary South India" a talk by Dr. K. Satyanarayana at Teen Murti House, Teen Murti Marg > 3pm on 16th April 2013 "Caste, Identity & Dalit movements in contemporary South India" a talk by Dr. K. Satyanarayana at Teen Murti House, Teen Murti Marg > 3pm on 16th April 2013 Reviewed by Rohit Malik on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 Rating: 5

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