Friday, February 7, 2014
Reception to follow
This talk explores what the politics of caste reveals about the dynamics of India's democracy. Bihar, with over a hundred million people, is India's poorest state known for caste conflict, corruption and political violence. At the same time, since the early 1990s a dramatic upsurge of lower caste politics swept Bihar and other parts of north India. Drawing on fieldwork conducted since 2002 in sites ranging from the state assembly to villages, the talk examines the contradictions that emerged when lower caste politicians took control of a state government that had long served to reinforce upper caste dominance.