<span class="smallCaps">Three</span> History Produces Politics

Badri Narayan Tiwari

in The Making of the Dalit Public in North India

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780198071877
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080724 | DOI:
Three History Produces Politics

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This chapter focuses on how the Nara–Maveshi Movement (NMM) — a social movement, begun by the Chamars in north India around the 1950s to shed their demeaning caste-based profession — was one of the precipitating factors of the Dalit politics that emerged in the decade of the 1960s. It traces and documents the history of the NMM in Uttar Pradesh, ranging from the minor incidents of 1950 to the various sporadic incidents at different places between 1955 and 1985. It also documents the politicization of Dalits in the rural society during such a grassroots-level social movement. It shows how caste and class sometimes function together in Indian society and deconstruct the notion of permanent homogeneity of castes and communities, which developed during the identity discourse of marginalized groups of Indian society in recent times. This chapter also finds mention of novels by Dalit litterateurs like Om Prakash Valmiki’s Joothan and Mohandas Naimishray’s Apne Apne Pinjare which highlight the humiliation of caste-based professions in their everyday life.

Keywords: NMM; social movements; chamars; dalit politics; politicization; dalit litterateurs; joothan; apne Apne Pinjare; Indian society

Chapter.  8871 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Indian Politics

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