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Accepted Paper:

Caste and sociolegal discourses in Indian tv debates  
Sagar Ved Singh (Central University of Rajasthan)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to critically scrutinize the arguments in Indian journalistic television debates pertaining to the status of caste and need of caste-based census in India. The implications could be for understanding the discursive strategies deployed in debating the caste as a sociolegal phenomenon.

Paper long abstract:

Caste based categorization among the followers of Hinduism has sustained its presence hitherto. The proponents argue about caste as one of the most [humanely] suitable parameters to distinguish and distribute the realms of the production and imparting of knowledge, goods, and services for the civilized survival of human society. However, there had been numerous instances recorded in the disciplines of history, sociology, anthropology and cultural studies which would delineate the pictures of caste as being an instrument of so-called upper-caste people [for instance Brahmins] to assert their self-proclaimed superiority over the people of lower-castes [Dalits, Shudras etc.]. The legal provisions of reservations for the ‘scheduled castes’ in India is always a hot topic for the elections, parliamentary, legislative, academic, and journalistic television debates. This paper is concerned with critically analyzing the television debates on Indian tv news channels NDTV 24X7 and Republic World, pertaining to the controversy around the issue of ‘caste-based census’ in India. This study will adopt the Foucauldian approach to conduct critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 1992, 2010) with using the framework of Gramsci’s theory of hegemony (1971) to scrutinize (i) how the issue of caste is defined in the debates? (ii) which are the elements drawn onto for problematizing the caste as a mechanism of controlling and exploiting the people of lower sociocultural and economic sections of Indian society? (iii) how are the power-positions discursively constructed to endorse or discourage the cause of caste-census? and (iv) whether the caste status-quo is challenged or sustained in arguments?

Panel P157
Crimes of the Powerful: Past, Present and Future [AnthroCrime]
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -