ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Caste, Consumption, and Dalit Resistance

The politics of caste has encompassed every aspect of Indian social and cultural lives, including quotidian food preparation and consumption practices. Because of their socially inferior caste identities, Dalits are mistreated in (and excluded from) Indian dominant dining spaces, and their food preparation and eating habits are stigmatised by upper-caste groups.


Rajyashri Goody is a renowned artist on the politics of food and caste. Her artworks on Dalit food preparation and eating practices enable us to rethink the repercussion of caste doctrines in the lives of Dalit people and the everyday forms of resistance enacted by Dalit food practices. Dalits are marginalised communities in India whose social status are at the lower rung of the caste hierarchy. Goody’s artwork called “Writing Recipes” is a collection of poems/recipes she retrieved from first-person narratives and Dalit memories that unpack the ground reality of the Dalit world.

The caste-based food politics in Indian everyday dining spaces and Dalit resistance to “food stratification” (Goody 2014: ix) are explored in this article. How people from lower caste or Dalit backgrounds manage to interact with and are treated by others within caste-based stratified foodways and what methods they embrace to counteract the politics of food and caste are discussed in this article. To do so, the readers’ attention is invited as to why Dalits often have to hide their caste identity and how hiding one’s identity can also be a form of Dalit resistance.

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Updated On : 8th May, 2023
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