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Republic of Caste - Book Launch
Sun Jun 24, 7:00 PM
Lamakaan Programming Team
Republic of Caste - Thinking Equality in the Time of Neoliberal Hindutva by Anand Teltumbdee

Book Launch and Discussion

Navayana & Lamakaan invite you to the launch of Anand Teltumbde's opus, Republic of Caste: Thinking Equality in the Time of Neoliberal Hindutva. It is truly a new kind of history of post-independence India. We could well call it "India After Ambedkar" but then Teltumbde is not beholden even to the cult of Ambedkar, while he hugely draws from Ambedkar. Teltumbde is unafraid of taking what seems an unconventional position on reservation, naxalism or even the Constitution. For instance, he has often argued that reservation for Dalits has, in fact, stigmatized them and consecrated caste in India’s polity.

The book, featuring a foreword by the historian Sunil Khilnani, will be launched in Hyderabad on 24th June Sunday at 7 pm at Lamakaan.

Teltumbde will be in conversation with historian Bhangya Bhukya of University of Hyderabad;
Kalpana Kannabiran, Director of Council for Social Development;
and Social Activist & Research Scholar, HCU, Firduas Soni.

About the Book:
Commanding in its scope, revelatory and unsparing in argument, Republic of Caste amounts to a new map of post-Independence India. Anand Teltumbde identifies the watershed moments of its journey: from the adoption of a flawed Constitution to the Green Revolution, the OBC upsurge, the rise of regional parties, and up to the nexus of neoliberalism and hindutva in the present day. Joining the dots between a wide range of events on the ground and the prevailing structure of power, he debunks the pieties of state and Constitution, political parties and identitarian rhetoric, to reveal the pernicious energies they have unleashed and their dire impact on India’s most marginalised people, the dalits.

The exclusion and disempowerment of dalits emerges as intrinsic to India’s republican system, whether expressed through state policies on education, agriculture and land ownership, or the tacit encouragement of caste embedded in both law and political practice. Here, the carrot of reservations comes with the stick of atrocities. As a politics of symbolism exploits the fissile nature of caste to devitalise India’s poorest whilst appropriating their votes, Teltumbde’s damning analysis also shows progressive politics a way out of the present impasse.

About Anand Teltumbde:
Anand Teltumbde is a civil rights activist and a columnist with the Economic & Political Weekly. Among his many books are Dalits: Past, Present and Future, Mahad: The Making of the First Dalit Revolt and The Persistence of Caste: The Khairlanji Murders and India’s Hidden Apartheid. He teaches at the Goa Institute of Management.


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