By |January 20th, 2024|Books|0 Comments


Edited Book Volume

This edited book aims to provide better insights on the socio-economic reality of the outcastes or the Avarnas of India, commonly known as Dalits. It will try to include the status, change and continuity of various communities within the outcastes - Valmiki, Chamars (Rohit as often called in Gujarat), Bunkar and others. It would not only particularly bring out the intricacies of the status of these communities, in present changing times highlighting new challenges, continuation or changed forms of struggles but could be a unique contribution to the sociology and anthropology of Dalits discourse in India in general.

India is a caste-based society and therefore it not only categories communities based on culture and social customs but goes further and discriminates and marginalizes certain communities based on Varna- caste discriminatory mind-set and practices even today. The legacy of the past continues even after 75 years of independence of India with a very progressive Constitution. The discriminative varna-caste system is so well established in the mindset of Indians that even education and exposure to other countries, societies and cultures have not erased the inhuman ideology and practice largely. Buddha, Phule, Periyar, Ambedkar have tried to do away with the system and ideology in various ways and yet the Varna-caste discrimination and hatred raises its head in various forms and ways and contexts. The system is most exploitative towards the outcastes and so the women among them. Even today, the outcastes are isolated, excluded, discriminated against and deprived of equal access to social and economic opportunities and a life of dignity.

Dalits as such are not homogeneous; Varna-caste discriminatory hierarchy, ideology and practices have infected them as well. They themselves though out of caste system are divided in sub-castes with their own hierarchical exclusions. Education and enhancement have gone up in some communities within them but Valmikis or manual scavengers are considered the lowest of the poor in the Dalit hierarchy. Among others they have lagged behind in socio-economic development and political participation. Untouchability as practiced against Dalits is also practiced with them the most by not only by other castes but even by other Dalit groups. According to the social hierarchy among both higher and lower castes, they occupy the lowest of the low position, as they are night soil remover. In almost all human-made and natural disasters the handling and disposing of human and animal decomposed bodies, rotten grain, food are done by the members of these communities, largely without any proper protection gears, namely bare handed. Like Valmikis, marginality among the marginals also extends to other castes within the broad spectrum of scheduled castes.

The Varna-caste as a social system even today determines the nature and characteristic of socio- economic and political institutions in India (see ‘The Grammar of Caste, by Ashwini Deshpande), relations among them and dictates the role and responsibilities of the role holders in these institutions. Those who challenge the system are looked with suspicion to say the least. Social exclusion of outcastes, must be seen from the articulation of political, social, economic and spatial dimensions. They are marginalized socially,economically and politically. In matters of health and education, considered to be pillars of development by Amartya Sen, these communities are far behind. India is on the path of modernization, new India as some like to call. Is it really so? India is fast accepting modernization but is this modernization accompanied by modernity, a new critical thinking, of being and of an inclusive citizenship - of all irrespective of castes and creed?

Recommended Themes/Topics

Centre for Culture and Development (CCD), Vadodara has planned to bring out an edited book exclusively on the outcastes community in India in order to highlight and address various issues, challenges and an understanding of their ‘lived’ lives. The book will focus on the outcastes through the spectrum of change and continuity over the years in terms of their socio-economic status in India. Hence the CCD invites papers on the following themes focused on the outcastes community.

  1. Outcastes in India: Discrimination, Marginalization and the Pathos of Caste Hierarchy
  2. The Occupational Stigma and Challenges of the Outcastes (eg. of Chamars, Manual scavengers, Weavers etc.)
  3. Outcastes in India: Change and Continuity in their Status
  4. Economic Changes among the Outcastes
  5. Outcastes and System of Education
  6. Gender and Outcastes
  7. Legal and Human Rights of the Outcastes
  8. Indian Democracy and the Outcastes: Struggle for Equality and Dignity
  9. Governments Affirmative Efforts and the Outcastes: Entitlements, Tokenism or Inclusive Step
  10. Outcastes in ‘New India’
  11. Civil Society and the Outcastes: Experiences, Observations and Lessons Learnt
  12. Outcastes and Indian Diaspora
  13. I am an Outcaste : My Life –My Story’- Personal Narratives

Submission Procedure

Academicians, researchers, students, scholars, social activities, government officials and other citizens who are working with or have research interest on the Outcastes community are invited to submit an abstract proposal clearly explaining the topic and content of the proposed chapter (max. 500 words including list of keywords) on or before February 15, 2024. Authors will be notified about the status of the paper selection by the Review Committee as soon as possible and they will receive further chapter guidelines. On selection, the author has to submit a full chapter of 3500 words minimum and 5000 words maximum (excluding references and notes). Inquiries and submissions can be sent electronically (Word document) to the email:

Abstract-proposal Submission Last Date – 15th February, 2024
Notification of Paper Acceptance to Author/s– 26th February, 2024
Full Paper Submission (of selected papers) – 20th March, 2024


  1. Dr James C Dabhi, Director, Centre for Culture and Development, Vadodara
  2. Kanchan Bharati, Assistant Professor, Centre for Culture and Development, Vadodara


This book is aimed to be published by a national reputed publisher in the year 2024-25.


Anthropological Explorations in East and South–East Asia

By |April 5th, 2021|Books|0 Comments

Book Description   

This volume  is a collection of eighteen ethnographic essays  on Anthropological Explorations in East and South–East Asia, reprinted from the almost forgotten Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay, published during 1886-1936. Divided into five parts,  it includes works on history, religion, tea cult, the Torii  of Japan and the Torans of India;  a  paper that deals with the veneration of  dead in China; eight papers on Tibet: on its customs, devil driving processions, book procession of Lamas, Tibetan folklore in eastern Himalayas, and the method of computing distance by means of tea-cups; a paper on Burma on the monastic institution and its Phongys;  and four papers on Malaysia dealing with the tiger in Malay folklore, folk medicine, etiological folktales, Burmese   and Indian folk beliefs about the man tiger and the Malay version of two ancient Indian apologues.The volume suggests that the history of anthropological writings in India is much older than is  believed  to be.  In addition, it also portrays glimpses of  non-tribal societies beyond India studied by indigenous scholars. This book should interest anthropologists, sociologists, Buddhists, and students of East and South-East Asia.

Revisiting Suicide:From a Socio-Psychological Lens

By |March 17th, 2021|Books|0 Comments

Book Description                                                

This book provides a socio-psychological enquiry of the phenomenon of suicide in the Indian context. It addresses the rising trend of suicides across the world and through case studies explores its primary reasons, the after-effects on survivors and families, and measures to prevent them. The volume focuses on deciphering the social and psychological meanings associated with suicide. Through an examination of psycho-social autopsies of numerous cases, it highlights the patterns and trends which emerge around mental well-being, suicide, and bereavement. It examines the primary roadblocks for robust suicide prevention measures and provides great insights into behavioural and personality categories and their relationship with suicide. Offering theoretical and empirical perspectives on the issue of suicide and self-harm, this book will be of interest to students, researchers, and faculty of behavioural sciences, psychology, social anthropology, demography, criminology, social work and sociology. It will also be an essential read for psychologists, counsellors, policy makers, NGOs, CSOs, legal experts and media personnel working in the area of suicide prevention and research.


Book Launch:Changing character of religiosity in Gujarat: Sacred Space,Time and Persona

By |February 5th, 2020|Books|0 Comments

 With the level of religiosity breaching the 90% mark as per the latest World Value Survey, India today is in the select club of highly religious nations. At this point of time, many scholars have warned about the dangers of religious illiteracy among staunch religious followers especially in multi-faith societies where misunderstanding and ignorance can escalate into hostility, abuse and violence, and hinder cooperative endeavours in all arenas of human experience.

This book studies the inextricable relation between religion and religiosity across space, time and persona. With these concerns, the authors emphasise empirical externalities of religion by observing the evolution of religious spaces and changing character of religious festivals over time. Findings from the empirical data justify the use of economic variables to understand religion and the changing demographics of religious pluralism. The analysis of religious and caste organizations throws light on how they have responded to the changing character of sacred time due to the economic shifts. In contrast to the ideas about spiritual gurus of old like hermits living in mountains, or bearded sages living in remote ashrams,  this book shows the role of technology- powered  godmen  and women, some of whom  have  become India’s most influential and powerful figures. No matter how deeply held our beliefs may be today about perpetuity of religion, they are likely in time to be transformed, or simply fade away.

The book raises many questions for social scientific research on religion. If religions have changed dramatically in the past, how might they change in the future? Is there any substance in the claim that belief in gods will die out altogether? As our civilisation and its technologies become increasingly complex, could entirely new forms of worship and celebration of festivals emerge?

This book should interest scholars of philosophy, theology, religions, and social sciences. Book detail

Book Launch Event at CCD on 09-09-2019

By |September 10th, 2019|Books|0 Comments

Lagacy of Ambedkar: Analysis and Appraisal

By |July 12th, 2019|Books|0 Comments

This collection of essays examines the legacy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar with regard to his ideas of social democracy, eradication of caste system, formation and strengthening of constitutional institutions, and the role of religion and caste in a democracy. This volume is not a eulogy for Ambedkar, but an analytical attempt to look at his contributions and failures. The primary objective of the volume is to assess Ambedkar from a detached, unbiased and objective view in the light of changing contemporary India.

Read More

ગુજરાતના શાળાકીય શિક્ષણનો એકસ રે

By |July 8th, 2019|Books|0 Comments

કેન્દ્ર સરકાર દ્વારા નવી શિક્ષણ નીતિનો ડ્રાફ્ટ પ્રસિદ્ધ કરવામાં આવ્યો છે તેવા સમયે આજે સેન્ટર ફોર કલ્ચર એન્ડ ડેવલપમેન્ટના જયેશ શાહ અને લેન્સી લોબો દ્વારા વધુ એક પુસ્તક "ગુજરાતના શાળાકીય શિક્ષણનો એક્સ રે" બુક સેલ્ફ (નવભારત સાહિત્ય મંદિર - મુંબઈ) દ્વારા પ્રસિદ્ધ થયું. સંશોધન અભ્યાસ આધારિત તારણો ઉપરથી આ પુસ્તકમાં અમે ગુજરાતમાં શાળાકીય શિક્ષણની ગુણવત્તા સુધારવા અંગે વ્યાપક ક્રાંતિકારી ભલામણો કરી છે અને તે આજના સમયની માંગ છે એવું અમારું સ્પષ્ટ માનવું છે. જે વ્યાપક ક્રાંતિકારી ભલામણો કરી છે તેમાં (01) “નો ડિટેન્શન” નીતિની પુનર્સમીક્ષા (02) લોકબોલીમાં ધોરણ એકથી ત્રણનો અભ્યાસક્રમ (03) ધોરણ આઠ પછી બોર્ડની પરીક્ષા (04) ધોરણ દસની બોર્ડની પરીક્ષા રદ કરવામાં આવે (05) શાળાના શિક્ષકોની ક્ષમતા વધારવા માટે તાલીમ અને તેની વ્યવસ્થા (06) વિદ્યાર્થીઓની ક્ષમતા વધારવા માટે મૂલ્યાંકન અને તેની વ્યવસ્થા (07) ઇન્ડિયન એજ્યુકેશન સર્વિસ (આઈઈએસ)ની અલગ કેડર ઊભી કરવી (08) વોકેશનલ શિક્ષણ અને વોકેશનલ સ્કૂલની સ્થાપના-નો સમાવેશ થાય છે.

Read More

How People Vote? : Civic Literacy and Political Participation

By |May 4th, 2019|Books|0 Comments

How people vote in a liberal, open, competitive democracy is a big question in two senses. First, as Indian voters make up one-sixth of the world’s total electorate, their voting behavior considerably matters to the future of representative democracy everywhere. Second, as India faces so many challenges to its social, ideological and political cohesion, what people think about voting is significant to how India will evolve in the future. Political participation is central to the democratic system and civic literacy plays an instrumental role in it. This volume examines the impact of civic literacy on political participation, by studying voting behaviour in local, assembly and parliament elections in rural, semi-urban and urban areas of Gujarat.

Read More

Marriage and Divorce: Changing Concepts and Practices

By |January 5th, 2019|Books|0 Comments

This volume explores the nature of social change in the fundamental institution of marriage in Indian society. It documents the churning going on in the conjugal bond with reference to gender inequality, patriarchy, domestic violence, divorce, separation, and remarriage under the impact of urbanization, modernization and globalization.The work includes fourteen papers divided into three parts. 

Read More