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Podcast: Amit Ahuja on the Roots of Dalit Politics

ByHindustan Times
Feb 19, 2020 08:03 AM IST

India is home to over 200 million Dalits, formerly known as “untouchables,” who have historically occupied the bottom rung of the Hindu caste hierarchy.

India is home to over 200 million Dalits, formerly known as “untouchables,” who have historically occupied the bottom rung of the Hindu caste hierarchy. In recent decades, however, Dalits have experienced unprecedented political and social mobilization.

But, across India’s states, the collective action undertaken by this historically marginalized community has been highly uneven--this is the argument of a brand new book by the political scientist Amit Ahuja titled, Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties Without Ethnic Movements.

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Amit is a professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara and one of the wisest voices on Indian politics, social change, and foreign policy. This week, Milan Vaishnav (Director of the South Asia programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) sits down with Amit to talk about his new book, the status of Dalit politics circa 2020, the BJP’s Dalit outreach, and Amit’s innovative research on marriage markets in India.

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