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Two Days National Seminar On

Caste and Social Exclusion in India: Identity, Assertion and Hegemony
18-19 February, 2013

Organized by Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) Gandhigram Rural Institute-Deemed University
(Re-Accredited by NAAC with ‘A’ Grade)

Gandhigram-624 302 Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu

the best in rural oriented courses and extension. religion. The concept of Social Exclusion originated in France in 1970s and eventually acquired wider currency in academic milieu across the world to characterize discriminations and disadvantages of marginalized groups. T. Our Centre: The Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) in Gandhigram Rural Institute-Deemed University (GRI-DU) started to function as a policy research centre in June.Our University: India’s struggle for independence fuelled by revolutionary thoughts of founding fathers not only led India ultimately freedom. The Institute is fully funded by the Government of India. Started in a small way. offering about fifty different programmes. Students from all parts of India and other developing countries are studying in this Institute. The Institute is a member of the Association of Commonwealth University (ACU) and the Association of Indian Universities. GRI has emerged as a premier Institute for advanced learning and research. Nestling in the breezy and luxuriant landscape in the lower slope of Sirumalai Hill in the rural Tamil Nadu. . Education is one such noble endeavour our founding fathers forecasted that it will enable India to upsurge from the colonial exploitation. In recognition of its exemplary services and contributions in the field of rural higher education. During its course. Many educational institutions were established during the freedom struggle and after independence. G. research and extension activities. was founded in 1956 on the noble advice of Mahatma Gandhiji by his disciple couple Dr. The Institute was accredited with Five Star status by NAAC in February 2002 and re-accredited with ‘A’ grade by NAAC in 2010. perhaps. Though the concept of social exclusion is borrowed from the West. the Institute has developed a big corpus comprising seven different faculties. Soundram with the aims of promoting classless and casteless society through teaching. Ramachandran and Dr. 2010.S. the Institute was conferred Deemed University status in 1976. it laid foundation for modern and vibrant India. the land of exclusion where great majority of population still experience institutionalized discrimination and exclusion due to their identities based on caste. India. this new and emerging field of inquiry with its multi-dimensional approach acquire more requisite and contextual in the areas of social science research in India due to the exclusive characteristics of Indian society. Social Exclusion refers to the complex processes that deny certain groups full participation in society. Today. the Gandhigram Rural Institute (GRI) is one such institution. as per University Gants Commission (UGC) guidelines.

the Centre is engaged in identifying the unmet need of policies. labourers are other excluded groups recently focused as referent dimensions of exclusion today. With this noble cause. these marginal groups did not fare well in social indicators compared with established sections of Indian society. albeit. the UGC established 35 such centres in higher educational institutions throughout the country. Currently. the aims of both GRI and CSSEIP fit together and add another stature to establish a more inclusive and a just society.gender. research. class. Elderly. endogamous group which is usually localized”. sometime. age. According to one estimate. Anthropological Survey of India reports the existence of 4635 communities or caste-like groups in India. Social exclusion. extension and networking with the Third Sectors. caste system was never imposed all at once on Indian society: it took centuries before caste became the hegemonic feature of society. Women and Minorities are such core excluded groups. differently-abled. transgenders. religiously sanctioned attempt to exclude. even shaped the social. The establishment of CSSEIP in GRI is an important milestone in the Institute’s academic contributions to combat social exclusion for which it was founded. Adivasis. Small and Marginal farmers. people with HIV/AIDS. Thus. region. religion. It has influenced. Sociologists define caste or ‘jati’ (as locally referred to) as a “hereditary. Dalits. Each linguistic region has a large number of jatis. discrimination. The establishment of the centre for study of social exclusion and inclusive policy by UGC all over India is such a natural development of the academic quest to identify unmet needs of policy and to bring out multi-thronged policy level solutions through empirical studies. race. it is that much more difficult to change. identity formation and assertion based on caste have become the central focus of . People in Unorganized sectors. there are two to three hundred jatis in each linguistic region of India. The Seminar: Caste is a form of social exclusion unique to the South Asian subcontinent. Since its inception. cultural. etc. Even after six decades of planning and development. However. the Centre is marching towards achieving the goal through teaching. the challenges and prospects of inclusive policies. gender. Exclusion is an institutionalised and socially. The state’s attempt to bring the excluded majority into the mainstream through policy intervention. ethnicity. segregate or cast out a segment of the population due to their identity such as caste. did not give fruitful effects in mitigating social exclusion due to various factors. economic and political life of almost all communities in the subcontinent since ancient times. etc.

Throughout the history. Notwithstanding all efforts at seeking internal or national solutions to the noxious system of caste. the caste system has been cruel and atrocious institution. multiple and holistic framework to study the caste system.converts from upper castes or Caste Hindus due to their caste origins i. Despite Islam. namely ‘Arzals’ in Islam. caste based mobilization and assertion or even conversion to non. 1993. the exclusive feature of Indian society under which the majority of population were excluded over the centuries.e. Caste is not exclusive to Hinduism alone.discourse in India today. Christianity. Another worrying trend apparent from the NCRB data is growing cases of rape of women belonging to Dalits. a hidden form of caste based exclusion exists in India’s premier higher educational institutions and government offices where students and officials from reserved communities such as SCs. the term offers a unique.Hindu religions. Thus. ‘Mazhabis’ in Sikhism. banned scavenging system and made its practice a punishable offence. caste is a dominant institution of exclusion which involves what Sukhadeo Thorat describes as ‘living mode exclusion’ i. 1989.e. Though Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act. The recent reports of NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) also points that crimes under the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. the country denies caste and considers untouchability a crime. Though the term “Social Exclusion” is recently introduced in India. . majority of converted Dalits in these religions what social anthropologists prefer to call them as ‘micro-minorities’. untouchables. be they legal remedies such as abolishing untouchability constitutionally and reservation for Backward Classes including Dalits. Formally and legally. it persists in many ways. It has stunted and shackled the potential of the vast majority of population.. Many reports confirm that. is rising across the country. Buddhism and Sikhism provide no doctrinal support to caste system. ‘NeoBuddhists’ are still excluded by ‘macro-minorities’. exclusion from political participation and disadvantages in social and economic opportunities. STs and OBCs are discriminated due to their caste identity. But socially and ideologically. caste as a ‘lived reality’ still continues to be a dominant identity to hit hard the majority of population. government is the largest agency that employed and pays over a million of scavengers in the country. ‘Dalit Christians’ or ‘Neo-Christians’ in Christianity.

credit.Examination of Indian society since 1947 reveals that caste was not only alive. Scholars have viewed lower caste assertion as a positive use of caste identity in a struggle against oppression. housing and knowledge. . untouchable castes that were once considered supine and docile are now militant. Caste identities are now fearlessly and unabashedly expressed. The popular commemoration of Uda Devi and Chuharmal among Dalits in North India and Immanuel Sekaran and OndiVeeran by Dalits in Tamil Nadu are such incidence of caste based identity assertion and mobilization under which Dalits are aggressively articulate their identity. Identity. The organization of electoral politics around the axis of caste enabled them to forge their identities strongly and to ‘deconstruct’ and ‘reinvent’ caste history. increased competition between groups and enhanced the political salience of caste identities today. discrimination. New leaders have arisen among them who are more able to articulate caste identity and mobilize their community. employment. caste based identity politics are very active. It is this well and collective socio-historical experience of oppression and exploitation that provide fodder for all Dalit and Backward castes movements and assertion. aggressive and fully conscious of their power and rights in a democratic polity. Studies on contemporary caste noted down that historically excluded groups have acquired much greater capacity today for negotiation with state and modernity including globalization. However. capital. we talk about caste mostly in the context of assertion by ‘Backward Castes and Dalits’ against deprivation and exclusion. not only in matrimonial markets and electoral politics but also in everyday life shaping access to land. Today. market. it has been observed that caste groups and caste identities are invoked in public. Despite the relative decline of caste system. one’s sense of self is not natural. but shaped through ascriptive and subjective processes. Oppression. but hegemonic feature of Indian society. and persist and flourish in Indian society. Occupational mobility. Lower and middle castes do not see themselves as inferior in any essential sense. prestige and power. access to state benefits and consciousness rising by movements has altered caste dynamics. enduring. Only those experiencing a particular form of oppression can either defend or fight against it. widespread and are visible in our naked eyes. Due to identity based assertion. in recent years. However. it was ‘flourishing’ in the most innovative and changing circumstances. exclusion and psychological vulnerability push them to seek shelter under identities. caste still continues to be elusive. They have valorized conceptions of themselves.

Identity formation.In this context. To suggest a broad based multi-thronged public policy for building casteless society. 2. Interplay of Caste. Any other themes related to caste. To analyze the hegemonic features of the caste system accountable for social exclusion. 12. Gender based Caste discrimination and social exclusion in India. democratic processes and development. Experts. Participants: Academicians. Objectives of the Seminar: 1. researchers and social activists to discuss caste based exclusion and identity assertion that would bring out a broad based. 3. CSSEIP. GRI. Reservation and Caste Census 4. multithronged public policy for building caste less society. Caste based violence and atrocities in India. To identify the sustaining role of caste system in the backdrop of modernization. Theorizing Caste: Origin and Development of Caste based social exclusion in India. 5. Caste and State Policy: Constitutional Provisions. GRI has proposed to organize two days National Seminar on. Class. Exclusion of Deprived castes from employment and market in India. Caste among Non-Hindus and social exclusion in India. This seminar will provide an opportunity and a platform for academicians. 3. “Caste and Social Exclusion in India: Identity. 7. To examine the role of caste based exclusion in identity formation and assertion politics. 8. Untouchability. Power and social exclusion in India. 5. Scholars. Assertion among Dalits in India. 9. Researchers. To discuss caste as a dominant source of social exclusion practices in India. 4. 6. 11. Sub-Themes of the Seminar: 1. Social exclusion. College and University teachers working on the various dimensions of caste based exclusion and also those NGOs actively involved and working towards the positive inclusion of the excluded on the basis of their caste identities will be the vital participants for the seminar. Caste based (identity) politics. 10. Date and Venue: 18th – 19th February. . anti-caste movements and social exclusion in India. Manual Scavenging and Social Exclusion in India. 2013 and Silver Jubilee Hall. Assertion and Hegemony”. Caste and Social Exclusion in India 2.

Food and Accommodation: All outstation participants will be provided accommodation for two days on request.Call for the papers: Preferably.01. Paper Presentation and Publication: The papers invited for presentation at the Seminar will be published as abstracts in the Seminar Proceedings.) 500 300 500 Local (Rs. Soft copies of abstracts not exceeding 300 words or one printed page on the seminar theme/ sub-themes should be e-mailed ( or gri. GRI-DU payable at Canara Bank.2012 : 01. while the Organizing Committee would take care of local hospitality and guidance. along with the Power Point presentation/ slides should be submitted in both soft and hard copies on or before 15th January. It is requested to all the outstation participants to meet their travel expenses through their parent or anjuli_c@rediffmail. the Papers based on empirical research and theoretical work on the various subthemes of the seminar are invited. On spot registration is also accepted. (TA may be given depending on the fund sanctioned by ICSSR). The selected papers will be published as an edited book by reputed publishers with ISBN.01. The authors will be intimated the acceptance of paper by e-mail.01. The acceptance of paper implies that each author should get registered individually. Registration Fees: Delegates Academicians Student/Scholars Others Out station(Rs. Full length on or before 31st December.csseip@gmail. Dining arrangements are made for all registered participants for both the days of seminar.2013 . 2013. Authors of selected papers for publication will have to pay publishing cost depending upon the publisher.2013 : 15. Gandhigram (Code 8500).12. Important Dates: Last date for submission of Abstract Intimation of Acceptance Last Date for full paper Confirmation of participation : 31.2013 : 20. 2012.) 400 200 400 Registration fee has to be paid through Demand Draft in favor of The Registrar. on first come first serve basis.

A. Thirukkani. Dr. GRI. Registrar. Gandhigram-624 302 Mobile: 09865909795. Mani. gri. CSSEIP Gandhigram Rural Dr. located in about 80 Organizing Secretaries: 1. Assistant professor cum Assistant Director. GRI. GRI. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE Chief Patron: Dr.DU. 2 km from Ambathurai Railway station and 15 km from Dindigul Railway station. Gandhigram-624 302 Coordinator: Dr. the Organizing Secretary of the Seminar. The nearest Airport is Madurai.Deemed University. P.csseip@gmail.DU. Associate Professor cum Deputy Director & Coordinator. Dr. Sam Velladhurai.Chancellor. CSSEIP.DU. Gandhigram-624 302 Mobile: 09715339798 E-mail: chandra. anjuli_c@rediffmail. Narayanasamy. . GRI. N. Anjuli Chandra.chella@gmail. A. Research CSSEIP. GRI.anjuli@gmail. Anjuli Chandra. GRI. Gandhigram-624 302 Patron: Dr. Honorable 2. V. SM. 3. Gandhigram-624 302 Mobile: 09840391263. Assistant Professor cum Assistant Director. Dr.How to reach Gandhigram: The institute is located on the NH-7(Dindigul to Madurai Road). Note: All the correspondence related to the seminar should be addressed to Dr. C. Assistant Professor cum Assistant Director. It is 12 Km away from Dindigul bus stand. 09790596787 E-mail:samwhity@gmail. Ramanujam. Gandhigram-624 302 Mobile: 09865012152 E-mail: thirukani@gmail. Gandhigram-624 302 Seminar Convener: 1. 09976914529 E-mail: mani.DU. CSSE&IP.

Particulars: DD No: Rs: Bank: Date: Signature (Registration fee has to be paid through Demand Draft in favor of The Registrar. Assertion and Hegemony 18-19 February.csseip@gmail. Designation 4. Gandhigram. Please confirm your participation through e-mail at: or gri. *Filled registration form should reach our Centre on or before 15th January. Name or anjuli_c@rediffmail. Accommodation Needed : Yes/No 9. E-mail ID : 8. Sex 3. GRI-DU payable at Canara Bank (8500). if required. .com Note: Photocopies of the registration form can be made. On spot registration is also accepted). Mobile No : 7. Arrival Date______________ Time______________ 10.anjuli@gamil. Signature________________ Date______________ 11. Registration fee.Two Days National Seminar On Caste and Social Exclusion in India: Identity. 2013. Department/ Centre 5. Nature of participation : Presenting Paper/ Participation only 12. Mailing Address : : Male/Female : : : 6. 2013 REGISTRATION FORM 1.