So Who Is Practicing Untouchability in India?

Amit Thorat, National Council of Applied Economic Research
Omkar Joshi, National Council of Applied Economic Research

The paper looks at caste (jati) based practice of untouchability in India, shifting the focus from the victims of this practice the 'Dalits' to the perpetrators, the upper caste Hindus. Using the second wave of IHDS data (2011-12), where the household questionnaire asks the respondent 'does any member of the family practice untouchability'? we for the first time can generate a socio-economic profile of those who practice untouchability in India. The questionnaire also measures the number of social network contacts that each household has within their own and out side of their community with people following certain professions such as doctors, teachers etc. The paper proposes to check the hypothesis that households with a wider outside community network than with-in community network, are less likely to practice untouchability. We use logistic regression model to measure this effect at the all India level.

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Presented in Session 216: Patterns of Racial and Ethnic Exclusion in India