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Centre for South Asian Studies: News



Prof. Avatthi Ramaiah will be talking on CASTE VIOLENCE AND CASTE AS VIOLENCE Thursday May 23rd at 5pm

The Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh is hosting the first of what we hope will become an annual series of AMBEDKAR public lectures addressing issues of social exclusion in South Asia. 

Our speaker will be Professor AVATTHI RAMAIAH of the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion & Inclusive Policy,Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.


DATE: Thursday May 23rd, 5.00-6.30pm

VENUE:  Seminar Room 5, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15a George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD

SUMMARY: Although the growing caste based violence against 'Dalits'  by the caste Hindus in India is increasingly seen to be a matter of concern among most of the academics, human rights activists and concerned leaders at large both within and outside India, they by and large seem to blame the Dalits, the victims. They argue: the Dalits do not have the ability and smartness to counter violence; the Dalits do not have the knowledge of and courage to using the special laws effectively to punish the accused. And therefore they often suggest that the Dalits need to be educated and empowered. But these 'academics', 'activists' and 'leaders' do not seem to find anything wrong with the caste system itself. They do not seem to be interested in asking certain basic questions as to why the caste Hindus behave the way they behave; whether within caste system and within the caste rules, can one's behaviour be civil and secular; can his behaviour be corrected;  can peace and harmony  and collective living possible within the caste rules. The lecture on “Caste violence and caste as violence” will focus on answering these and other related questions. 

Professor AVATTHI RAMAIAH, currently a Visiting Fellow at Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics, has been teaching and researching on political economy and sociology of caste, and caste and social work at the Tata Institute of social Sciences, Mumbai, India since 1991. He obtained his M.Phil. (population studies) and Ph.D. (sociology) from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was a Visiting Fellow earlier at the Anthropology Department, Columbia University, New York under the Fulbright Senior Scholar programme in 2009, and also at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE), University of Hull, UK in 2010. He has published extensively on issues pertaining to caste and caste based discriminations and violence,

The lecture will last approximately 50 minutes and there will be an opportunity afterwards to ask questions. 


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