Do ‘Caste’ and ‘Religion’ Still Matter in India? An Assessment of ‘Untouchability’ and Socioeconomic Outcomes by Socioreligious Groups in Uttar Pradesh (India)

Harchand Ram, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Srinivas Goli
Moradhvaj Dhakad, Jawaharlal Nehru University

This paper examined some critical research questions: do ‘Caste (word identical to Ethnicity)’ and ‘Religion’ still matter in India in terms of the socio-economic standing of the households? Does Untouchability still exist in India? These questions have been and continued to occupy a considerable space in political and socio-economic debates in India. In spite of more than six decades of welfare policies, and major political mobilization among lower castes in the state, our findings suggest huge Caste inequalities in terms of critical socioeconomic indicators such as Education, Consumption Poverty, Wealth and Landholding distribution where Hindu Dalits and Muslims Dalits are in disadvantageous position. The practices of Untouchability towards the Dalit Muslims by Upper Caste Muslims and Hindus are quite clearly evident in this survey. This study is first to identify Dalit Muslims and measure their socio-economic status vis-a-vis Hindu Dalits and other upper castes in Hindu and Muslim Religion in India.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity