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"Quest for Social Justice" The age old caste system continues to be a major factor promoting social inequality and retarding the progress of large sections of society. Despite 65 years of Independence and guarantees against injustice, enshrined in the Indian Constitution and Dr.Ambedkar’s fight to eradicate it, the caste-system not only prevails but is getting reinforced today! With the rise of politics in the name of religions, the overall process of social transformation of caste and gender has got a big setback. The issues based on ‘religious identities’ like ‘Ram Temple’ and ‘Holy Cow’ are dominating the scene and the real issues of society, those related to rights of weaker sections of society, social justice, etc have been relegated to the margins. This book is an attempt to present the issues related to caste system in India: its genesis, its perpetuation and its impact on large social sections. The book outlines the scriptural base of the caste system and takes up the process of social transformation during the freedom movement, the process triggered by industrialization and modern education. It also takes up the role of Mahatma Jotiba Phule, Dr. Ambedkar, Savitribai Phule and E V Ramasamy ‘Periyar’ in leading the struggles for abolition of caste and the domination of Brahminism. It also touches the issues of reservations for Dalits & OBCs, the Sang Parivar inspired move to review the Constitution and the impact of RSS politics on struggles of Dalits for social equality. The book is a simple elaboration of concepts with visuals, cartoons and tables. It gives the basics of the whole gamut of issues related to caste and how Hindutva politics is an attempt to subjugate the struggles of caste equality.
Ram Puniyani Former Professor IIT Mumbai has been working for promotion of plural and secular democratic values since 1992. He has been writing on these issues regularly, also conducting workshops and delivering lectures on themes related to threat of fundamentalism, communalism, and terrorism. He is associated with Center for Study of Society and Secularism, Anhad and All India Secular Forum. He has written several books, Contours of Hindu Rashtra (Kalpaz, 2006), Communal Politics: Facts versus Myths (2003), Religion Power and Violence (2005), Mumbai Post 26/11 (SAGE 2009), Second Assassination of Gandhi (Leicester University, 2002) and Dalits and Social Justice (2008, Mythri, Trivandrum). He is recipient of Maharashtra Foundation Communal Harmony Award (2002); Association for Communal Harmony, Star Award (2003); Indira Gandhi National Integration Award (2006) and National Communal Harmony Award 2007.