Chandrabhan Prasad recommends
Now, Chandrabhan Prasad is no darling of the deep-rooted socialist/secular media. His recent articles in The Pioneer throw new light on contemporary issues like Big Retail, role of the English language, the way forward for Dalits, anti-US sentiment. Read them all here. He is now a visiting scholar at the Center for the Advanced Studied of India (CASI) at University of Pennsylvania.
Excerpts from his latest article “Pilgrimage to CASI” .
I value two books the most. These are – Dominance and State Power in Modern India and Decline of a Social Order (Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1989). When I visited South Africa in 2001, the US in 2002, Canada in 2003 and Germany in 2006, I always carried these books.
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There can only be two kinds of political scientists and social historians in India – one who have not read the book, and the other, who have read it. So, what is there in the book which makes me value it so much?
Thats a pretty strong recommendation. I have put these on my must read list. Links ( Frankel’s book (Costs a hefty $75 )
Though I had my reservations regarding Mandal as I was witness a growing conflicts between Dalits and OBCs, I still went ahead and defended it as by 1991, the larger Gangetic belt was still dominated by Dwijas/Brahmins. So, as I thought, a total annihilation of the Brahmin dominance may turn north India into a socially liberated zone as it had happened in Tamil Nadu.
I was shocked to find that for every 100 Dalit in socially liberated Tamil Nadu, only 15 were independent cultivators and 64 were landless labourers. In Uttar Pradesh, of every 100 Dalit, 43 were independent cultivators and only 39 were landless labourers. How could Tamil Dalits be so far behind the UP Dalits.
There was no meaning to Periyar’s anti-Brahmin movement I thoughts to myself. But there was no one who was willing to listen to me. For most of the Dalits in north India Tamil Nadu was a role model. It was then that I was given a book to read by prof Frankel.
In his book, Frankel mirrors the fall of Dwijas/Brahmins from the political power structure, the book however, remains sceptical of the social justice element in the rise of Shudras/OBCs. What I understood from the book suggests that Periyar’s Dravidian movement was merely anti-Brahmin, and not anti-caste.
Source : Daily Pioneer
The real empowerment of the dalits in Tamilnadu will be on display at election time. Mr Tiruma of the biggest Dalit party (DPI) will run from pillar to post (DMK/AIADMK) for 2-3 seats in the Tamilnadu assembly, whereas Mayawati will win 20-30 seats in the Lok Sabha.