Law And Society Committee, NLSIU
Conference organized by the Law and Society Committee, National Law School of India University in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice and UN Women.
The impact that caste has on people's lives is real and far-reaching. However, caste is, at present, a subject that is greatly misunderstood by a largely savarna academia which approaches the caste question with preformed assumptions regarding the very identity of the oppressed. This arises from the commodification of the 'dalit'-ness of the movement, failing to realize that caste is not a singular identity but is compounded by all other existing vulnerabilities based on class, gender, and sexuality. It is not surprising then, that the academic discourse on caste fails to accommodate its ever-growing manifestations in the contemporary world. The intersectionality between caste, untouchability and other vulnerability factors occupies a space in academic discourse which is highly disproportionate to its impact and implications.
The result is that academic production on the subject is rendered paradoxical and reductive: while it is ever-growing, it fails to reach the lowest rung; the oppressed within the oppressed. Caste is not just the Indian apartheid, but is also India's hidden apartheid. This conference seeks to abandon the monolithic lens with which the subject has hitherto been approached, and paint a fresher, and more accurate picture of the real extent of vulnerability in India.