Bhoopendra Kumar Ahirwar is a Dalit who comes from a remote village of Central India. He is a first-generation PhD research scholar at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has been awarded MPhil degree on ‘Politics of Land Reforms in Central India’ under the supervision of Dr. Harish Wankhede. He is mostly interested in the Critical Agrarian Issues and the Political-Sociology of Development. Currently, he is working on ‘Caste, Class and Agrarian Question: A study of Malwa Region of Central India’ for his PhD project.
Interrogating Caste in The Contemporary Farmers’ Movement in India
The recent mobilisation of peasants is a fall-out of socio-economic trends related to India’s post-1991 growth pattern. The general rural economy is in distress and Caste and Agrarian-Power has declined considerably. This forced the dominant Agrarian Castes’ to transform a political relationships, which were earlier contradictory and confronting now consecutively building political alliances to raise important demands. In a changing society, particularly when farmers’ identity is weak, farmers are in a constant search for a new cultural identity. Their disillusionment from urban allure is making them forming the new rural-identity to assert the agrarian concern.
In the times of rising authoritarian power of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led government in India, thousands of Farmers have been protesting against their Three Farm Laws. Whereas these protests are opposing the government’s move politically, this research tries to understand that how the contemporary farmers’ movement is negotiating with the social contradiction of Caste among the Landed Agrarian-Castes and Landless Dalit Labourers to deal with the rural-agrarian crisis? What are the major pattern shifts in the social base of their leadership, language and ideology in the contemporary agrarian mobilisations? This is also to examine that how recent changes in the agrarian political economy and caste system have transformed the grammar of caste in the farmers’ movement in India?
The mix method of interviews with participatory observation would be used to understand the field perspectives and challenges.
Affiliation: Jawaharlal Nehru University, India