Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 501
Emerging Agrarian System and Its Impact on Caste Relations
and Local Politics: A Study in the State of Bihar
Prashant Kumar Choudhary
This paper focuses on caste relations in the villages of Bihar. Various facets of caste discrimination and aspects of inter-caste relationship among different groups are covered, which include the kind of discrimination faced. The paper considers some forms of caste discrimination practiced in the temples where some of the untouchable castes are not allowed to enter. Emphasis is placed on the practice of untouchability towards lower castes and various forms of discrimination exercised in these villages. The phenomenon of caste politics is observed in villages where a member of a particular caste votes for the party headed by the person of his/her caste. At local level panchayat election, people belonging to a specific caste vote for their own caste candidate (which is also observed in assembly and parliament elections). Along with it, the paper also deals with the impact of agrarian change on caste politics. i.e., the impact of change in landholding pattern in villages on politics.