Dynamism of Dalit epistemology: Interactions between caste and class
Nearly 4.5 million Dalits have been segregated, oppressed, and excluded from mainstream processes even after the changed political circumstances in Nepal because the caste system blocks sociopolitical transformation and has more influence on the existing society and state than class. Marxism/conflict theoretical ideology explores the critical inquiry of caste/class-based social structure and a vision of human emancipation and self-realization. The emergence of class struggles has not been able to resolve potential caste/communal struggles between dominant and subordinate groups. This study is grounded in qualitative research methodology to examine the variables that interact or clash between two fundamental social dogmas: caste and class as they relate to Dalit epistemology. Dalit epistemology is an alternative idea that provides positive thoughts and strategic directions to empower and organize Dalits from the bottom up by developing consciousness of Dalithood to transform communal battles toward democratic ballots in broader coalitions with other subordinate groups and progressive forces.