Accepted Paper:

Madiga Dandora and their demand to sub-categorise a constitutional category  

Author:

Dag Erik Berg (Molde University College)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses the sub-caste movement in Andhra Pradesh, Madiga Reservation Parota Samiti and their demand that the constitutional category “Scheduled Caste” should be sub-divided to enable underprivileged castes to gain access to the reservation policies granted by the Indian state.

Paper long abstract:

This paper discusses the sub-caste movement in Andhra Pradesh, Madiga Reservation Parota Samiti and their demand that the constitutional category "Scheduled Caste" should be sub-divided to enable underprivileged castes to gain access to the reservation policies granted by the Indian state.

The Madigas have been hit hard by globalisation. But the Madiga demand has a long history and reflects enduring inequalities among Dalits. In particular, the Madigas have a relative disadvantage in comparison to the Malas, another sub-caste, as the Malas have been more successful in making use of the reservation policies for Scheduled castes than Madigas and other Dalit sub-castes in the state.

The paper examines, first, how the Madiga struggle for sub-categorisation among Scheduled Castes has brought a constitutional dimension to their movement and strategy, thereby reproducing the significance of the secular-bureaucratic state for Dalits. Second, although the Madiga movement displays class differences between Dalits, their movement also shows the ways in which equality reinforces caste politics in the context of discourses of development and class.

Panel W067
The developmental turn in Dalit activism: disquieting caste and capitalism in contemporary India