Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.504633
Title: From the mud houses of Magadh : Dalits, Naxalites and the making of a revolution in Bihar, India.
Author: Kunnath, George Joseph
ISNI:       0000 0003 6763 1731
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
Since its inception in the 1960s, the Naxalite movement, a Maoist inspired peasant struggle, has become a platform for Dalit militant assertions against caste and class oppression in many states of India. In Bihar, especially in Bhojpur and Magadh regions, Dalits took up arms against the upper caste landowners. In retaliation, however, the landlords formed their own private armies and the state unleashed a repressive police regime creating a climate of violence in Bihar, and especially Jehanabad district, which has led to the region becoming known as 'the killing fields'. In this thesis I examine the everyday world of Dalits - their articulations of self and community - shaped in the midst of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary violence. Focusing mainly on one village in Jehanabad district from where the Maoist movement began to spread its influence in the Magadh region, I examine the dynamic nature of Dalit response to deeply-felt structural cleavages, which involved a movement from relative quiescence to mobilization and armed resistance, and to demobilization. This study of Dalit participation in the Maoist movement engages with and builds on three key areas of anthropological debate. First, it offers a different perspective from that of conceptualizing radical movements narrowly in 'structure versus agency' terms. In drawing on Bourdieu's notion of 'social fields', my thesis makes a case for a more nuanced explanation of peasant revolutions, by integrating notions of social structure and human agency. Second, in engaging with Tarrow's concept of 'protest cycle', I examine the dynamic nature of Datit participation in the Maoist movement which involved a cycle of mobilizations and demobilizations. My works thus provides a historical sensitivity to the study of social movements. Third, drawing on my methodological closeness to the everyday Dalit world, my thesis highlights the significance of close experience and the relational nature of anthropological knowledge.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.504633  DOI: Not available
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