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Title: Caste in space : the Bahujan Samaj Party and urban government in Agra and Ghaziabad, 2007-2013
Author: Jayaram, Ravi Shankar
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 3236
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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The electoral success of lower-caste political parties has transformed India’s democratic polity over the past two decades. This thesis is the outcome of extensive ethnographic investigations of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), India’s most successful Dalit [ex-Untouchable castes] party, in two cities of the country’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh (UP). The BSP commanded a majority of seats in the Uttar Pradesh state legislature between 2007 and 2012. The thesis seeks to investigate how the election of a Dalit-led party affected power relations between elite and subaltern social groups in Agra and Ghaziabad. The BSP state government significantly altered power relations in both cities in three ways. Firstly, the BSP inserted its bureaucratic cadre into key offices of government. Secondly, the BSP state government used its state resources to provide considerable welfare gains to core constituencies, through considerable achievements in housing security. Thirdly, the BSP administration established expansive pro-business regimes in both cities. Elite social groups were allowed to corner patronage benefits within the institutions of the party, whilst the party’s middle-class and working-class core voters were compensated with programmatic benefits in the form of police protection, welfare payments, neighbourhood development schemes, and housing security. There is, according to this thesis, considerable convergence between the material interests and the subjective identity perceptions informing caste-based political agency. The political science informing this work derives from the theoretical framework of the “Silent Revolution” (Jaffrelot, 2003). It is based on extensive elite interviews and ethnographic methods.
Supervisor: Tillin, Louise Marie ; Jaffrelot, Christophe Olivier Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available