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Satellite Castes and Dependent Relations: Dalits in South India

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Satellite Castes and Dependent Relations: Dalits in South India

Longueur: 141 pages1 heure


Mala masti is a satellite dalit community that traditionally depends on the central Mala caste for its survival and sustenance. It is surprising to notice the paucity of works on such satellite-dependent castes in the Indian caste system. While the system itself is founded on structured inequalities drawn in to hierarchized and stratified arrangement, interestingly, the castes at the bottom too exhibit such a hierarchy. These satellite dalit communities are insulted, abused with derogatory terms by the central castes that are themselves much discriminated, and excluded from the mainstream. Such a situation generated much confusion as to their position in the caste hierarchy, bringing into focus mutual claims and counterclaims for superior position. This study brings to light the fact that the ambiguous position of these dalit satellite castes keeps the entire system intact without being critically questioned by those at the bottom, as they are always at loggerheads with other castes at the bottom for a claim of superiority. In this background examination of the position of Mala masti, vis--vis the central Mala caste and others in the system, would certainly bring out facts that are not given full focus in the earlier studies.
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