Divyadarshi Kapoor
Land, Caste, and Politics in Indian States by Gail Omvedt Department of Political Science, University of Delhi, 1982, 168 pp., 65
July-August 1982, volume 7, No 1

Two phenomena have char¬acterized the Indian rural scene since the ’70s—peasant militancy and violence against Harijans. The Delhi University Political Science Association felt the urgency of the need to evolve a new Political Economy to meet the challenge posed by the failure of existing social science theory, both Marxist as well as non-Marxist, to satisfactorily explain the twin phenomena. The Association and its journal, Teaching Poli¬tics, therefore took the initia¬tive of bringing out a collec¬tion of essays, with the aim of developing what Manoranjan Mohanty calls ‘critical theory’ in the Prologue to the book under review.

The guiding line of such a theory is implicit in the Pro¬logue, which dismisses as in-sufficient what it calls the Marxist explanation of ‘caste behaviour as a manifestation of class behaviour’, and calls for a diagnosis of ‘both the basis of caste in the structure of land relations and its super-structural dimensions in poli¬ties’.

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