This article presents a detailed case study of Dalit rebellion against untouchability in Chakwada, a village of Jaipur district in Rajasthan. The case study highlights the fact that, while many humiliating practices of the past have ceased, caste discrimination continues in many forms. Caste-based hierarchy and power are still at the heart of the traditional social order and determine, to a large extent, the kinds of lives that people live. Further, the police and the state machinery have failed to protect the constitutional rights of Dalits, and often end up aligning with forces that suppress them. In the eyes of the law-enforcing agencies, Dalits remain unequal citizens. The Chakwada story brings out the difficulties that Dalits face in breaking traditional forms of oppression. Any attempt to challenge the traditional social order makes them vulnerable to repression and violence, and also to isolation. The article also argues that this rebellion against untouchability did not really challenge the caste system itself.
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