Complexities of inclusion and exclusion: Dalit students and higher education in India

Sanil Malikapurath Neelakandan, Smita Margeshwar Patil

Abstract


Caste determines the field of education in India. Students who belong to the lower structure of caste experience discrimination based on caste in their day to day academic as well as non-academic life. This paper attempts to explore the ways of caste driven social inclusion/exclusion which challenge their lives. Constitutional privileges provide rights to the students who belong to these communities. At the same time, the ideology of caste is hegemonic in the Indian society and they face different forms of social exclusions. Thus, they are caught in between social inclusion and social exclusion. This highlights the forms of exclusion which structure their lives irrespective of the policies based on social inclusion. This paper traces the history of dalit struggles for education in the midst of the reactionary ideology of caste.

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