By Prakash Shah
This publication discusses the salience of the caste query in united kingdom legislations. It presents the heritage to how the caste provision got here into the Equality Act 2010 and the way it was once strengthened in 2013, and analyses a few of the pursuits that performed a task in getting caste into legislation.
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Extra info for Against Caste in British Law: A Critical Perspective on the Caste Discrimination Provision in the Equality Act 2010
Only a few nonBrahman and Dalit voices rejected this kind of Orientalist nostalgia, all the while feeling increasingly trapped by the demands of anticolonial nationalism to downplay, and defer, all critiques of Indian culture and civilization. One may well agree with Dirks (see also Inden 1990: 72–73) that the application that he describes of colonial historiography to tradition would inevitably result in an unrecognizable distortion, because of the onset of the ‘colonial consciousness’ that Balagangadhara (2012) identifies.
So invidious is the tendency to locate the oppressive structures of Indian culture that such contortions have been read even into archeological evidence. Stanley Wolpert’s 2000 edition of A New History of India, where the historian speaks of brick dwellings found in an archeological dig at Harappa as ‘similar to those occupied by most Dalit labourers’, is cited by Keane (2007: 13) to buttress his case for a caste system in India. ’ (Keane 2013: 13) As the result of decades-long prior activity of producing accounts of the caste system, in India people often frame political and legal claims in caste terms irrespective of how intelligible such a classification is to them.
That the Brahmins had the means and power to accomplish all their indoctrination on races alien to them is explained by reference to old Indian texts, such as the Mānavadharmaśāstra (or Manusmriti) or the Puruṣa-sūkta hymn from the Rigveda, without any context, stretching their significance to enable just the reading desired to establish that subjugation was the aim (House of Representatives 2005: 12; Roy 2014a: 29, 37; for a citation in a recent legal text, Keane 2007: 5–7). This goes on despite the fact that more circumspect students of ancient India regularly point to the difficulty of attributing particular meanings to various ancient terms, such as varna, purely because the contexts surrounding the old written texts is impossible to know today.