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VALERIAN RODRIGUES | Nov 20, 2016

There’s a new turn in Dalit politics that entails taking charge of affairs in their own hands, and a widening of the terrain of struggle rather than restricting it to political power or religious conversion.

A few features of this turn are noteworthy: caste is back into reckoning; the use of social media to network and communicate has proliferated; Left politics and its limitations are under scrutiny; Babasaheb Ambedkar has reinforced his presence as the flagpole; there is a highly literate Dalit leadership deeply aware of historical injustice and electorally decisive numbers in support; a thick notion of Brahmanism is highlighted as the enemy; a search for a new civil society-state axis is on; and a new body of concepts and slogans are being deployed as the battle cry.

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