Institute for Social and Economic Change


T Kannan


This paper argues that the violence against dalits is largely a reaction to the emerging political identity of the dalits. The formation of political identity of dalits towards the realisation of autonomy is expressed in two forms: war of manoeuvre and the war of position. These Gramscian theoretical notions are used to indicate a major shift in the hegemonic politics of dalits. This paper classified the violence against dalits into two types: violence as punishment and violence as disciplining. Those acts of violence that are unleashed to punish the dalits for violating the traditional caste rules and norms are called as violence as punishment. Those acts of violence that have direct implications for the moral life of dalits are classified as violence as disciplining. This paper argues that the experiences of violence which dalits get as victims makes them to understand the ‘dominance’ in physical terms, if not in ideological terms.  How does the ideological dominance elude from the dalits particularly from their understanding of dominance?  An attempt has been made in this to answer the question with the help of Gramscian theory of ‘common sense’ and the hegelian theory of state as an ethical community.


Working Papers

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