Caste Consciousness & Power Politics in Bihar 1937-1967

Caste Consciousness & Power Politics in Bihar 1937-1967

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAL016
Author: Vimal Kant
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Language: English
Edition: 2016
ISBN: 9789350502402
Pages: 264
Other Details 9.50 X 6.50 inch
Weight 560 gm

Book Description

About The Book

Barring the recent Lok Sabha elections (2014), politics of coalitions has come to dominate the Indian political scenario. In the political formation in modern Bihar, this trend has continued since 1967.The rise of caste based politics has impacted and shaped coalition politics in the state. This is because, gradually, caste consciousness has influenced the rise and development of political consciousness among the various sections of the society. The book provides a comprehensive account of the various factors that have contributed to this development including the colonial rule, the national movement for Independence, Census operations, and the development of caste associations and Sabhas. It also takes into account the vital role that the peasantry has played in the shaping the socio-political dynamics of modern Bihar, a factor mostly neglected in academic accounts of the development of electoral politics in the state. Thus, in sum, the book provides a historical account of the evolution of caste consciousness in Bihar and its impact on political consciousness and electoral politics during the three vital decades beginning 1937. This, the author hopes, will enable the readers to understand the politics of modern Bihar comprehensively in the light of the fresher evidence and perspective that this study presents.

About The Author
Dr. Vimal Kant completed his graduation and masters in History from the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. This book is the revised and updated version of the dissertation that he submitted at North Eastern Hill University, Shillong for doctoral research. His areas of interest include aspects of contemporary social politics such as caste, democratic representation, and elections. He regularly contributes to reputed journals, magazines, and newspapers. He is currently working under the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, New Delhi.


The term 'caste' is derived from the Portuguese word casta.' In the Indian context this term has been analysed from various perspectives by historians, sociologists, political scientists and others. The scholars may differ in their approaches in problematising the issue, but it was perhaps regarded as the most important constituent of 'Hindu' social structure in India. Thus the caste system has been treated as an important aspect of Indian social history from ancient times till date. During colonial rule, changes in economic, political and administrative spheres substantially influenced the Indian social make-up. As a result, traditional values and institutions were subjected to a great deal of criticism despite the fact that these were adapting themselves to the changing scenario. The educational system introduced during the British period had consequent effect on the Indian social order too. The aspect is elaborated upon by Rajesh Kochhar in his article "Seductive Orientalism: English Education and Modern Science in Colonial India".

The colonial administrator were interested in caste and religion in India partly for reasons of understanding the social practices and institutions of a people whom they looked forward to govern. More importantly, it was also to show that India did not constitute an integrated, social, cultural, economic and political unit, and hence could not constitute a nation. Their method of analyzing caste and culture presented the Indian social profile as a fragmented and not an organic whole.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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