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Book Code: 9789386397317

Dr. Nirmal Singh

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The challenge of casteism is the major threat to Indian democracy. It weakens the functioning and stability of democratic system. Dalit politics in India seems to be informed by a similar kind of understanding of caste. The book explored the history of caste system and democracy in India with the views of social and political anthropologists. It is an effort to trace an egalitarian path between the two opposed values – caste system and democracy. Dalit assertion has been one of the most significant features of the society and polity of Punjab. In spite of the highest Scheduled Castes' population, the Bahujan Samaj Party has not marked a space in Punjab politics. This book is concerned as to why this numerical strength of Scheduled Castes' population has not converted
into the seats for the Bahujan Samaj Party. The book is an attempt to begin to fill this gap. To unravel this puzzle, the book presented a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between social cleavages and party support. The book is based on field survey; it studied the nature of caste system in India with special reference to the State of Punjab; Socio-economic and religious profile of Dalits; the support base of the Bahujan Samaj Party among the Scheduled Castes in Punjab and the support base of Scheduled Castes among the two major political parties in Punjab – the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal. Hence the book will not only fill the gap but will also throw new insights with regard to the mobilization, organization and political strategy of any political party in India.


Dr. Nirmal Singh is an Assistant Professor in Political Science, in the department of University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), Panjab University, Chandigarh. He is also teaching in the Department of Evening Studies-Multi Disciplinary Research Centre (DES-MDRC) and University School of Open Learning (USOL), Panjab University, Chandigarh. He is specialised in the fields of Dalit Politics in India; State Politics in India and Caste System and Democracy in India. He has 30 manuscripts published in national and international esteemed and reputed publications. Dr. Nirmal Singh has also presented his 28 research papers in various national and international seminars/conferences. He is continuously updating his knowledge with further research and studies in the areas of his interests.


List of Abbreviations .9

Foreword . 11

Preface . 15

List of Tables . 19

1. Caste and Democracy: Vision of an Egalitarian Society . 21
• State and its Will of an Egalitarian Society • Theology of Caste System • Caste and Democracy • Caste and Untouchability • Caste System and Social Justice in India • Need for Restructuring the Indian Society • Notes • References.

2. Dalit Assertion in India: Crossing the Threshold of Indian Politics . 61
• Dalit Movements and Party Politics • Dalit Movements in UP • Dalit Movements in Maharashtra • Self-respect Movement in Tamil Nadu • Note
• References.

3. Emergence of Dalit Political Parties: An Analytical Study . 77
• Theoretical Framework of the Political Parties • Caste and the Political Parties • Emergence of Dalit Political Parties after Dr Ambedkar • The BSP: its Organisational Strategy • Policies and Programme of the BSP • Objectives of the BSP • Withering BSP: UP Assembly Election, 2017 • Note • References.

4. Dalits in the State of Punjab: An Analysis of their Assertion . 103
• Dalit Movements in Punjab • Deras and Dalits: Is Dera Sacha Sauda a Dalit Citadel? • Socio-Economic and Political Profile of Dalits in Punjab • Note
• References.

5. Dalits and their Support Base: A Study of theCongress and the SAD in Punjab . 121
• The BSP in Punjab • Deras, Dalits and Party Politics: Views on Dera Sacha Sauda • Dalits and the Congress Party in Punjab • Organisation of the Congress Party in Punjab • Support Base of the Congress Party in Punjab • Dalits and the SAD • Organisation and Ideology of the SAD • Support Base of the SAD
• Dalits’ Demography in Punjab • Studies on Dalits in Punjab • Selection of Villages • A Framework of the Study • Notes • References.

6. The BSP and Dalits: An Analysis of the State of Punjab . 155
An Analysis of the BSP in Punjab • Organisation of the BSP • References.

Appendices . 179

Selected Bibliography . 203

Index . 231

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