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As India attempted to modernize in the decades after Independence, the issue of caste became overwhelmingly significant in the political, economic and social spheres. This anthology, edited and introduced by M. N. Srinivas, one of India's most eminent sociologists, explores the influence of caste and its evolution into the major indicator of identity it has become today. The essays in this volume, each authored by an expert on the subject, include an appraisal of the role women play in perpetuating caste; the relationship between caste and the economy, and between caste and Hinduism. Other contributions review the backward caste movement in Tamil Nadu; the power struggles between backward castes in UP and Bihar; observations on caste among Muslims and Christians in India; the issue of job reservations; and an assessment of the Mandal Commission Report.
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