Caste as Social Capital

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About the Book :

Prof Vaidyanathan’s book, Caste as Social Capital,challenges several myths relating to the working of the caste system in India. Noting that while caste is commonly identified with oppression and discrimination, he points out that it also has positive aspects which have not been researched adequately. The main argument of the book is that “the jati or community or caste plays a major role in entrepreneurship and also facilitate the upward mobility of the whole caste rather than individual.”

Caste is complex social institution which cannot be missed away. It has both positive and negative aspects. The book brings out that the caste cannot be discussed in pure black and white terms. The trend of Vaishyavisation of castes may have positive impact on the politics of the country. The book, Caste as Social Capital enriches the discussion about the role of caste in Indian society.

The author observes that castes in India are increasingly taking to business and entrepreneurship. Tirupur in Tamilnadu, where Gounder caste predominates has now become a world-leader in knitted-garment industry. Likewise, the kite-making industry in Ahmedabad, worth around Rs 800 Crores, is dominated by Muslim entrepreneurs. In leather business too, Muslims are present in significant numbers. Dalits are also taking to business. Some Dalit entrepreneurs have built large business empires. A Dalit Chambers of Indian commerce and industry has been set-up.

– Excerpts from Book Review by Arvind Gupta, Director VIF

  • ISBN : 9388689119; 152 pages


About the Author:

Prof. R. Vaidyanathan has been teaching at IIM,  Bangalore for close to three decades. Immensely
popular with his students, he is also on the boards of several corporates. He is a member of
committees of regulatory bodies such as the SEBI, RBI, IRDA and PFRDA, and is a regular commentator
on economic matters in the nation’s leading newspapers


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