Anuradha M. Chenoy
Democracy in Search of Equality: Untouchable Politics and Indian Social Change by Barbara Joshi Hindustan Publishing Corporation, Delhi, 1982, 200 pp., price not indicated
May-June 1982, volume 6, No 6

It is evident to any observer of the Indian situation that democracy has not led to equa¬lity. So for any social scientist engaged in a study of one seg¬ment of society, this revelation should not come as a shock. In a study of ‘untouchable politics’ and Indian social change, Barbara Joshi focusses on various aspects—social, economic and psychological—of existence among the schedul¬ed castes. Taking into account the historical roots and prob¬lems of the community, and the extent of its political inter¬est and participation, she seeks to illustrate this thesis through an examination of the con¬temporary situation of the scheduled castes in India. Caste has been a popular sub¬ject in Indian studies, and the pattern and scope of this book is similar to that of several sociologists who have attempt¬ed research based on inter¬views, census data and empiri¬cal analysis. The utility of this book lies in the fact that it synthesizes many previous debates on the scheduled caste problem.

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