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Continuing the Struggle

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Ascendancy of Dalits and Lower Castes under the Political Banner of Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh

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This paper demonstrates how, in three villages of Uttar Pradesh, poor Dalits and lower castes sustain their assertion against local power structure by adopting everyday politics. This proves that defiance under uncompromising circumstances need not be quiet, disguised and anonymous; rather, it can be noisy, public and open. The analysis from the field indicates that disadvantaged castes have not been able to bring about a broad structural transformation, as most opportunities are controlled by the local power structure. Despite this, a section of poor labourers has benefited from everyday protests. This transformation is a result of the enhanced politicisation of poor households under the political banner of the Bahujan Samaj Party, which has a strong presence in UP villages. This has not only empowered the disadvantaged castes, to confront the powerful dominant castes, but has made them politically and socially aware of their rights, helping them to reconfigure their ties with the powerful, dominant castes.

Affiliations: 1: Tata Institute of Social Sciences


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