Divergent Stakes in Feminism
Rekha Pappu
GENDER & CASTE: ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY INDIAN FEMINISM by Anupama Rao Kali for Women in association with The Book Review Literary Trust, New Delhi, 2004, 377 pp., 325.00
January 2004, volume 28, No 1

Gender & Caste is a significant contribution to the ongoing efforts at understanding the imbrications of caste related issues with other political concerns. It represents the first attempt at bringing together essays that are exploring the critical interconnections between caste and gender. And precisely for that reason it is striking that this anthology on caste is the first in the series “Issues in Contemporary Indian Feminism” edited by Rajeswari Sunder Rajan and published by Kali for Women in association with the Book Review Literary Trust, New Delhi. Emphasizing the contemporary importance of the subject, the editor Anupama Rao notes in her introduction to the book that the dalit understanding of feminism carries with it a potential to reframe the “mainstream” understanding of feminism. According to her, “Dalitbahujan feminists have gone further than merely arguing that Indian feminism is incomplete and exclusive. Rather they are suggesting that we rethink the genealogy of Indian feminism in order to engage meaningfully with dalit women’s “difference” from the ideal subjects of feminist politics” (p.2)

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