Historiography of Scheduled Castes in Contemporary India with special reference to Punjab

Shefali Chauhan


Caste remained an attractive topic to be explored among all the scholars of South Asia. There are many academic writings on castes in India and many scholarly studies can be seen. Many specialists define it as a system of elaborately stratified social hierarchy that distinguishes India from all other societies. Caste has been achieved significance attention in social, political and academic debates as race in the United States, class in Britain and faction in Italy. Historians have taken study of political and economic change in the subcontinent, both before and during colonial times. Since Independence, interest in social and economic history developed mainly due to the growing awareness and concerns for tracing the cause of contemporary social problems and economic backwardness of the country particularly of the lower castes, which are considered to be on the lowest rung of the ladder both socially as well as economically. In the present paper an attempt is made to see the various works done by scholars for scheduled castes in India with special reference to contemporary Punjab. The concept of Purity and Pollution, untouchability will be discussed from the point of view of various scholars.

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