Subaltern and radical political thinking in India

Main researcher: Jiří Krejčík, PhD.
Institute of Sociology

Lower and untouchable castes have long been marginalized in India not only socially but also in terms of access to Indian political discourse. The first attempts to create a strong block of subaltern stratas date back to the second half of the 19th century, and the movement of the “depressed classes” has a long and rich history. The activity aims to present a representative cross-section of Indian movements of untouchable and lower castes over the last hundred years to the Czech public. The introductory study introduces the reader to both the history of these subaltern movements and the pitfalls in their analysis; the selection of texts will present the work of the most important civic activists, political thinkers and social scientists associated with various currents of subaltern political thought. The book takes the reader through the history of both the Dalit and the backward classes movements, while outlining the basic differences and frictions between these two subaltern social groups, the relationship of lower castes to higher castes, and the complex relationship between the Hindu north and Tamil south. The activity will thus help to bring the topic of the dynamics of Indian society closer to the professional and general public, which is highly relevant but not well-known yet in the Czech Republic.