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Understanding the Bahujan Samaj Prerna Kendra: Space, Place and Political Mobilisation

Understanding the Bahujan Samaj Prerna Kendra: Space, Place and Political Mobilisation Abstract On the tenth anniversary of its first term in state government, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) opened the Bahujan Samaj Prerna Kendra in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The Kendra is a majestic, temple-like building designed to commemorate and celebrate the achievements of the Dalit movement in India. In this article I examine its symbolic and political features, which I argue must be understood against the backdrop of caste prejudice and the ongoing exclusion (social, spatial and economic) of Dalits in India. The Kendra prompts consideration of how the design and use of public space implicitly or explicitly excludes lower classes and castes, and the way in which the BSP has both challenged and used spatial strategy in its political discourse. I further suggest that the Kendra signals a new phase in the cultural politics of Dalits, articulating a new vision of moral, political and spatial order. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Studies Review Taylor & Francis

Understanding the Bahujan Samaj Prerna Kendra: Space, Place and Political Mobilisation

Asian Studies Review , Volume 33 (4): 14 – Dec 1, 2009
14 pages

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References (54)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1467-8403
eISSN
1035-7823
DOI
10.1080/10357820903363579
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract On the tenth anniversary of its first term in state government, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) opened the Bahujan Samaj Prerna Kendra in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The Kendra is a majestic, temple-like building designed to commemorate and celebrate the achievements of the Dalit movement in India. In this article I examine its symbolic and political features, which I argue must be understood against the backdrop of caste prejudice and the ongoing exclusion (social, spatial and economic) of Dalits in India. The Kendra prompts consideration of how the design and use of public space implicitly or explicitly excludes lower classes and castes, and the way in which the BSP has both challenged and used spatial strategy in its political discourse. I further suggest that the Kendra signals a new phase in the cultural politics of Dalits, articulating a new vision of moral, political and spatial order.

Journal

Asian Studies ReviewTaylor & Francis

Published: Dec 1, 2009

Keywords: caste; identity politics; space; marginality; resistance

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