Sunday, April 6, 2008

Attacking Caste Neutrality

The journal has come to its concluding issue for this semester. In following the journal one has traced its trajectory over several dimensions of the caste question. Issues as diverse as Dalit Feminism to caste and nutrition to caste and race to caste movements to Dalit literature have been dealt with. In this issue we focus on certain instances where we least expect the question of caste to arise at least in a commonsensical understanding of these instances. The issue therefore focuses on the dimensions of caste neutrality which creates almost impermeable facades to our understanding of inequality in our country.
In question are issues like the subterranean caste questions in Communist ruled states like Kerala, caste operating in spaces like the university (the specific case taken up in this issue being EFLU, our own university), the question of caste in Indian Cinema, the question of Dalit Christian identities and the operation of caste discrimination through apparently value neutral functioning of the economy (SEZs being the point of focus). The issue is accompanied by an exclusive interview of Arundhati Roy- the activist writer. The political imperative of the journal has by now become clear. It is our attempt by means of this issue to strengthen the attacks on this age old social inequality- caste and make cases for change, at the level of policies and society as such.


The editors of this issue are Jimmy, Ria, Geetanjali, Ritam and Asmita. The editors would like to thank Dr. K. Satyanarayana, Mr. K. Balagopal, Ms. Arundhati Roy, Prof. Maya Pandit, Mr. Ratnayya, Mr. Murlidhar Tadi, the office staff of EFLU, the SC/ST cell, Renu Elizabeth Abraham (for the illustration), Reju George Matthew for his inputs and everybody else who helped us with this issue.