Shades of discrimination

The South Asia Study Centre (SASC) in Udhagamandalam, Tamil Nadu, has the objective of "executing research programmes focusing on national, ethnic, religious and minority questions in South Asia. Related issues of caste and gender, and the rights of the indigenous peoples are also taken up for analysis.

Their new book, REFLECTIONS ON THE CASTE QUESTION: The Dalit Situation in South India by T.G. Jacob and P. Bandhu is very timely. "Caste violence is assuming more well-defined and grave proportions and it is simply not possible to discount the structural reasons behind it. The intrinsic logic of capitalist globalization is clearly one of further and further squeezing of the dispossessed, and in the overall scheme of things it is the Dalits and Adivasis who stand to suffer the worst. On the altar of profits there is nothing that is sacrosanct and the underprivileged are the first to go under the wheels. With the forces of globalization running roughshod, the task before the oppressed becomes doubly difficult and conflicts are bound to be of a higher order. History proves that nobody is going to give social equality and economic empowerment on a platter.

The book is for all those interested in development or human rights. It is an invaluable compendium for those wanting to understand the present within the historical context to address the future."

In paperback, 296 pages, Rs 275. ISBN 9788190061544