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The Grammar of CasteEconomic Discrimination in Contemporary India$
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Ashwani Deshpande

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198072034

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198072034.001.0001

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Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

(p.57) 3 Mind the Gap
The Grammar of Caste

Ashwani Deshpande

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines contours of caste disparity in modern contemporary India, evidence that seriously questions the belief that caste is irrelevant in globalizing India. It presents evidence spread over the last 20 years, using the largest two data sets after the national census, on various indicators of material well-being. Some of these indicators have been aggregated by the author into a Caste Development Index (CDI). This index, as well as other indicators, clearly shows substantial regional variation, but no reversal of traditional caste hierarchies. The relationship between the regional distribution of the CDI and the rate of growth of state domestic product is also examined, to address whether disparities are lower in richer or faster-growing states.

Keywords:   standard of living, caste disparity, economic disparity, Indian economy, economic indicators, Caste Development Index, occupation, education, landholding, liberalization and caste

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