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‘Show me a better party & I’ll join it’: Dalits, Disillusionment, Disunity & the Durability of Dreams. Hugo Gorringe University of Edinburgh; H.Gorringe@ed.ac.uk. Dalit Politics in TN. Dravidian Context Successive Challenges Disregard of Dalit Issues 1999 Third Front From Movement to Party.

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show me a better party i ll join it dalits disillusionment disunity the durability of dreams

‘Show me a better party & I’ll join it’: Dalits, Disillusionment, Disunity & the Durability of Dreams

Hugo Gorringe

University of Edinburgh; H.Gorringe@ed.ac.uk

dalit politics in tn
Dalit Politics in TN
  • Dravidian Context
  • Successive Challenges
  • Disregard of Dalit Issues
  • 1999 Third Front
  • From Movement to Party
disillusionment the poverty of panther politics
Disillusionment: The Poverty of Panther Politics
  • Supping with the Devil?
  • Broad-basing Support
  • Big Man Politics
  • ‘Thirumangalam Formula’
  • Downplaying Dalit Identity?
disunity the myth of vote bank politics
Disunity: The myth of vote bank Politics?

‘Even when the PMK and DPI were in alliance why were they not able to win a single seat and Vijayakant could? … It means that the people were unhappy about something. The Dalit people rejected the Dalit parties.’

  • Can’t Win Alone
  • The Primacy of Caste?
    • The Wrong Candidate?
    • The Wrong Alliance?
  • Dalit Politics, but Caste Parties
dreams strength of symbols
Dreams: Strength of Symbols

Why the residual attachment?

  • Caste
  • Dreams: The Leader and the Legacy
  • Failure of Others
  • Not *just* symbolic

The Strength of Symbolism

show me a better party
Show me a better party …
  • Cong & BJP
  • Dravidian Parties
  • CPI(M): TNUEF
  • BSP
  • Alternate Front?
discussion
Discussion
  • Vernacularisation of Institutionalisation
  • Revisiting Caste Vote-Banks
  • Re-assessing ‘symbolic politics’
conclusion
Conclusion

‘It’s a blessing we lost [the 2011 elections] … The party would have disintegrated had we won. 10 MLAs enriching themselves? The party would have been ruined. Now at least we can rethink and restructure’.

  • Professionalisation … in local politics
  • Alternative Party not Alternative Politics
  • More of the Same ≠ Dalit Liberation
recent online papers 2012
Recent Online Papers (2012)
  • ‘Party Political Panthers: Hegemonic Tamil Politics and the Dalit Challenge’, SAMAJ (South Asia Multi-disciplinary Academic Journal): <samaj.revues.org/pdf/3224>
  • ‘Caste and Politics in Tamil Nadu’, Seminar633, May (Special Issue: Caste Matters)
  • ‘From Non-Brahmin to Non-Dalit: Dalit Politics in Dravida Land’, Centre Right India: 11 July 2012. <http://centreright.in/2012/07/from-non-brahmin-to-non-dalit-caste-politics-in-dravidian-land/>