Accepted paper:

Rural Development and its Exclusive Approach towards Dalits in India

Author:

Rishi Prajapati (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on the exclusion of dalits in the developmental process in India.

Paper long abstract:

The proposed paper deals with the questions of exclusion of dalits in development process in rural India. Rural India constitutes 70 percent of population where dalits are marginalized and excluded in the development process and bears the brunt of caste prejudices day in and day out. Nearly 70 per cent of the dalit farmers are marginal farmers and 50 percent of the dalit population lives below poverty line. Most of the dalits are landless labourers and around 60 per cent of the dalits are still illiterate. Economic upliftment of this section still remains a major challenge before the Indian state. The success of popular participation involves structural problems in India. Caste stratification has left the dalits not only economically backward but also socially vulnerable. This social milieu acts as an obstacle in ensuring participation of dalits in developmental activities. Participation for dalits at present means following the upper and dominant castes blindly, without questioning them. The rural development strategy/plans so far have lead to vertical mobility in the society and increase in social inequality. Keeping in mind the rise in rural poverty and the need to control fiscal deficits, the rural development plans here onwards should try to largely focus on the development of the dalits and other historically marginalised sections. However, the whole developmental process, as the paper proposes, has also added displacement, discrimination, disparity and deprivation. Efforts have to be made to understand and incorporate the problems and sufferings of dalits while framing rural development strategies.

panel MMM21
Caste, community and class identities of Dalits in a global context