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The Lottery of Birth: On Inherited Social Inequalities

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  16 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
An egalitarian ethos has not been a prominent feature of Indian civilization, at least since the decline of Buddhism over a thousand years ago. All people, it is believed, are created unequal, born into a hierarchy of status and dignity, and endowed not with universal but particular rights and duties. This has greatly amplified the unfairness of accidents of birth in shapi ...more
Paperback, First Edition, 300 pages
Published April 2nd 2017 by Three Essays Collective
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Chhavi
A terrific collection of accessible, incisive essays. A few thoughts:
*I wish they'd make this required reading at the high school level in India
*The book covered a lot of theory I'd studied in sociology classes (and as a journalist who covers development I keep abreast on some of these issues) - so I was interested, but also in familiar territory. I can see how someone approaching the whole Dalit and caste trope for the first time would find it hard to incorporate into their world view...especia
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Himanshu Rai
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The path of development, in which growth and equity command equal attention, always require understanding of the social justice. The truths of social justice is hard to fathom but deserve a deeper scrutiny. The Lottery of Birth navigates through mazes of the identity, gender, justice and equality with a lucid prose. The book will definitely help young minds in developing critical sensibility and more judiciously assess many injustices of our society.
Kathleen
Reading this book made me smarter. Arora's essays are so timely and relevant. After I'd finish each one, I found that its topics related to many conversations in the news, at my workplace, among family and friends, or in other articles or books I was reading. I also found it so interesting to read about race relations or workplace prejudice or sexism in India and then compare it to my American experiences. Namit Arora straddles these two cultures and countries with understanding, awareness, and ...more
Karthik Gowrav v
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A deeper look at the skeleton of India's caste system, it's origin, its source of strength, its derivatives and it's ever growing symbiotic relationship with the socio-political structure of our country.
Usha Alexander
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in understanding the social realities of India today.
This unique collection of essays takes the reader through the varieties and degrees of inequality that persist in Indian culture. Beginning with the experience of the personal, the first three essays in the book review life from the perspectives of Dalits and Hijras, those who are held back due to their caste or gender identities. From there, the essays take on a broader view, providing thoughtful and incisive analysis into India’s systems of structural inequalities, where they came from, and wh ...more
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“In patriarchy, the female is not only seen as property—first her father’s, then husband’s—her sexual sanctity and propriety become central to these men’s izzat, or dignity and honor. Men think of settling feuds by ‘sullying’ each other’s women. Marital rape too seems incoherent when the wife is seen as the husband’s property.” 4 likes
“Lower caste males whose sexuality is a threat to upper-caste purity of blood has to be institutionally prevented from having sexual access to women of the higher castes, so such women have to be carefully guarded.’48” 2 likes
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