Caste, Class, Hinduism, and Hindutva: Engaging Cox to Understand Modi’s India

Saturday, January 6, 2018: 11:10 AM
Washington Room 2 (Marriott Wardman Park)
Radhika Desai, University of Manitoba
While Cox’s understanding of caste, largely drawn from his contact with Indian immigrants into the Caribbean, can be faulted on many counts if applied to India, I argue that his keen understanding of how these structures of domination were based in material realities can help us develop a keen understanding of the dynamics of caste and class in India and how they have changed over the 20th century to bring India in tandem with its changing political economy. Such an analysis is critical for understanding the political rise of Hindutva and key differences between its earlier form under the 1998-2004 National Democratic Alliance governments and the present Modi government and the even greater heightening of caste tensions it represents.