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POLITICS OF THE UNTOUCHABLES: Congress and the Bhangis: A Socio-Political Analysis

Shyam Lal

POLITICS OF THE UNTOUCHABLES: Congress and the Bhangis: A Socio-Political Analysis

Shyam Lal


ISBN 9788131607688
Publication Year 2016
Pages 224 pages
Binding Hardback
Sale Territory World (Except USA and Canada)

About the Book

Right from the pre-Independence period, the untouchables throughout the country, and Bhangis in particular, have remained with the Gandhi Congress. Congress’s aim was to provide dalits socio-economic and political justice, equality, liberty and dignity of life. Socially Bhangis are the lowest of the low, untouchable among untouchables, economically poorest and politically nowhere in the state of Rajasthan. The Bhangis expected that Congress, as party in power and saviour of dalits, will play the role of interventionist to bring about social transformation and liberate them from the shackles of bondage and deprivation based on birth. But even after six decades of independence, considerable discrimination prevails. So far, scholarly accounts of Bhangis have been few in number and limited in their coverage. This study offers a great variety of academic perspectives and a broader range of observation. Covering socio-political transformation in Rajasthan over last six decades, the book offers discussion on seminal issues like: 1. What changes have taken place in socio-economic and educational status of Bhangis. 2. What role has the mainstream parties, particularly the Congress, played in the process. 3. Why are Bhangis deserting the 130 years old affiliation with Gandhi Congress and how the Bhangis are reacting to Congress actions. The book will interest all those concerned with the upliftment of untouchables and their emerging political scenario in the country.


1. Introduction

2. The Bhangi: An Untouchable Caste
3. Akhil Bharatiya Safai Mazdoor Congress: Formation and Organization
4. Rise and Fall of Buta Singh
5. Discrimination of Bhangis by Political Parties and Caste Hindus
6. Discrimination and Prejudices Against Bhangis by the Government and Other Untouchables
7. Demand for Community Hostel and Bhawan
8. Bhangis Cry for their Basic Needs
9. Bhangis and Congress Veteran Leaders: Myth and Reality
10. Political Parties and Bhangi Community
11. Liberation of Bhangis: Sorry State of Affairs
12. Anna Movement and Aam Aadmi Party
13. Congress Losing the Pivot

About the Author / Editor

Shyamlal is an eminent sociologist. He was previously Vice Chancellor, Patna University, Patna, Bihar, Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur and also acting Vice Chancellor of University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. Earlier, he served as Professor and Head, Department of Sociology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur and Chairman, Institute of Social Research and Applied Anthropology, Calcutta. He has also been Director of Social Science Research Centre, University of Rajasthan for many years. He is the recipient of ICSSR’s Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Fellowship for 2003-04 and 2004-05. He also held the post of Chairman, Drafting Committee, Ambedkar Foundation, Department of Art, Literature and Culture, Government of Rajasthan. Professor Shyamlal is a prolific writer and has to his credit over 20 books and more than 50 research papers published in various journals and edited volumes.