Caste and language

Rukmini Bhaya Nair
Table of contents

The idea of caste is so extraordinarily widespread and resilient in India, a country with a population of over 1.7 billion, that the phenomenon seems to demand explanation in terms of ‘language in use’, not to mention ‘language in us’. Caste and its categories, in short, seem integral to the ways in which the Indian ‘self’ is – and has been – defined (Cox 1948; Srinivas 1962; Das 1977; Shukla et al. 2010).

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