Dr. Akhil Alha (Faculty Candidate), Council for Social Development, New Delhi
The talk situated broadly in the domain of caste and entrepreneurship revolves around the challenges faced by dalit entrepreneurs as well as constraints posed to them by the agency of the state, market forces, and the civil society. It also attempts to engage with the question of a mismatch between political consolidation of dalits and their success in entrepreneurship, and to what extent, deregulation of the Indian economy, as argued by the proponents of neo-liberalism as well as Dalit capitalism, has helped dalit entrepreneurs? Notwithstanding the increase in the number of dalit-owned units in recent decades, dalits continue to struggle in entrepreneurship because of strong biases of the state officials against them which results in lackadaisical implementation of schemes targeted at the promotion of dalit entrepreneurship, and entry barriers from upper and trading castes through their caste based social networks. Absence of caste based social capital or low-quality social networks among dalits fail to negate these entry barriers or break the near monopoly of non-dalitentrepreneurs in the market. The deregulation of the economy, contrary to the claims made by the proponents of ‘Dalit capitalism’, has helped only a few dalitentrepreneurs while a vast majority of them has failed to integrate into global supply chains or target foreign markets because of their low economic and human capital, and absence of social capital. Apparently, India’s market society continues to be regulated through social structures of accumulation based on identity which are being reworked so as to regulate modern capitalism.
Meeting ID: 929 6703 2438