The Indian Journal of Labour Economics

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 671–675 | Cite as

Alpa Shah, Jens Lerche, Richard Axelby, Dalel Benbabaali, Brendan Donegan, Jayaseelan Raj and Vikramaditya Thakur: Ground down by growth: tribe, caste, class and inequality in twenty first century India

Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2018, pp. 281, INR 850
  • Padmini Swaminathan
Book Review

A fascinatingly grounded book that explores and demonstrates how India’s, otherwise, impressive economic growth post-liberalisation, far from ‘trickling down’ to all groups has, in fact, worsened further the already precarious position of the Dalits and the Adivasis, including in the more economically developed states of the Indian Union. In a refreshing departure, and in order to move beyond speculation to arrive at causal explanations for phenomena thrown up by economists using secondary data, the authors used long-term in-depth ethnographic research that, among other things, entailed living with Adivasis and Dalits, placing the latter’s “perspectives and experiences at the centre, and understanding their situation in relation to that of other local groups and in relation to the wider political economy of the region” (xvi).

The specific manner in which capitalism operates such that pre-existing unequal social divisions get entrenched but through new mechanisms of exploitation,...


  1. D’Costa, A. P. (2016), “Compressed Capitalism, Globalisation and the fate of Indian Development”, in S. Venkateswar and S. Bandyopadhyay (eds.), Globalisation and the Challenges of Development in Contemporary India, Dynamics of Asian Development, Springer, Singapore, Chapter 2, pp. 19—39.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Society of Labour Economics 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Council for Social DevelopmentHyderabadIndia

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