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This book gives us Nagaraj’s vision of caste in relation to Dalit politics. It theorizes the caste system as a mosaic of contestations centred around dignity, religiosity, and entitlement. Examining moments of untouchable defiance, Nagaraj argues out a politics of cultural affirmation within his redefinition of Dalit identity. More significantly, he argues against self-pity and rage in artistic imagination, and for re-creating the banished worlds of gods and goddesses.
Nagaraj’s importance lies in suggesting a framework for an alliance of all the oppressed communities of India. This involves, first, a reconciliation of Gandhi and Ambedkar; second, a recognition that modernity has caused a technocide vis-à-visartisans; third, a reimagining of the Dalit rejection of history, for an alternative reading of untouchable pasts shows that these humiliated communities possessed an autonomous cultural domain.
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