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Emancipation to empowerment of scheduled castes: one step forward and two steps backward!


Scheduled Castes
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Akumarthi Nageswara Rao. (2023). Emancipation to empowerment of scheduled castes: one step forward and two steps backward!. SOUTH INDIA JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, 21(2), 192-209.


The paper investigates the trajectory of Scheduled Castes (SC) in India since independence, spanning a period of seventy-five years. It delves into the historical context of their emancipation and subsequent endeavours towards empowerment. The study critically examines the efficacy of affirmative action policies, reservation systems, and social welfare initiatives in uplifting the socio-economic status of SC communities.  Throughout the years, these affirmative actions have undoubtedly brought about some progress and positive changes in the lives of SCs. Improved access to education, job opportunities, and political representation has allowed for a degree of social mobility and empowerment. However, the paper also brings to light the persisting challenges and setbacks that have hindered the attainment of true empowerment and social justice for SCs in contemporary India.  Despite the advances, discrimination and prejudice against SCs continue to prevail in various aspects of society. Limited access to quality education and employment opportunities still inhibit their upward mobility. Social welfare programs, although well-intentioned, have encountered implementation issues, often resulting in insufficient benefits reaching the intended beneficiaries. Additionally, the paper explores how the prevalence of caste-based prejudices has led to atrocities against SCs, posing a significant obstacle to their full emancipation. The study underscores the need for a comprehensive and nuanced approach to address the multifaceted challenges faced by SCs. It suggests a re-evaluation and strengthening of affirmative action policies, a targeted focus on educational and economic empowerment, and the eradication of caste-based discrimination through robust social reforms.   



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