Caste as capital

Print edition : February 15, 2019

Traditional silk sari weaving in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu. A file picture. Photo: V. GANESAN

The “Tirupati perumal vasthram” with a width of 72 inches and a length of 12 yards is made specially for the presiding deity of Tirumal-Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. A salesman displays the “vasthram” at Nalli Silks in T. Nagar, Chennai, which specialises in weaving it. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The book makes important observations on the relevance of caste affinities for minority caste groups, such as the Padma Saliyars, whose trade interests are protected not through class alliances but through the creation of a caste identity.
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