The Unequal Process of Social Change
T.K. Oommen
EMERGENCE OF A SLAVE CASTE: PULAYAS OF KERALA by K. Saradamoni People's Publishing House, 1980, 259 pp., 45.00
Mar-Apr-May-June 1980, volume 4, No 3/4/5/6

The current widely shared concern for building an egalitarian and just society in India often prompts scholars to inquire into the prerequisites for achieving this laudable objective. An understanding of the processes of change specific consti­tuents of Indian society have experienced over a period of time can provide useful insights in this context. These insights are particularly valuable if they relate to the most oppressed section in Indian society, the Scheduled Castes, to use the official terminology. Inspite of the high pay-offs expected, such studies are too few, save a few exceptions such as the studies on Mahars of Maharashtra, Chamars of Uttar Pradesh, etc., considering the vast numbers and the considerable regional variations involved. Viewed against this background Saradamoni’s attempt to ana­lyse social change among the Pulayas, the most populous Scheduled Caste of Kerala is most welcome.

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