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Andre Béteille

Andre Béteille

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Andre Béteille is one of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

's leading sociologists and writers. He is particularly well known for his studies of the caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

 system in South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

. He is a Professor of Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics
Delhi School of Economics
Delhi School of Economics , commonly referred to as DSE or D School, is a centre of post graduate learning of the University of Delhi. The centre is situated in the university's North Campus in Maurice Nagar, and is surrounded by a host of other prestigious academic institutions of the country...

 at the University of Delhi
University of Delhi
The University of Delhi is a central university situated in Delhi, India and is funded by Government of India. Established in 1922, it offers courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate level. Vice-President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari is the Chancellor of the university...

 where he is Professor Emeritus of Sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 since 2003.

He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology from the University of Calcutta
University of Calcutta
The University of Calcutta is a public university located in the city of Kolkata , India, founded on 24 January 1857...

. Thereafter he received his doctorate from the University of Delhi
University of Delhi
The University of Delhi is a central university situated in Delhi, India and is funded by Government of India. Established in 1922, it offers courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate level. Vice-President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari is the Chancellor of the university...

. After a brief stint at the Indian Statistical Institute
Indian Statistical Institute
Indian Statistical Institute is a public research institute and university in Kolkata's northern outskirt of Baranagar, India founded by Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in 1931...

 as a research fellow, he joined the faculty of sociology at the DSE.

In his long and distinguished career, he has in the past taught at Oxford University, Cambridge University, the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, and the London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

. He is currently Chairman of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
The Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta is an autonomous research centre devoted to the research and advancement of the social sciences in South Asia...

 and of the Indian Council of Social Science Research
Indian Council of Social Science Research
Indian Council of Social Science Research was established in the year of 1969 by the Government of India to promote research in social sciences in the country...

.

In the words of historian Ramachandra Guha
Ramachandra Guha
Ramachandra Guha is an Indian writer whose research interests have included environmental, social, political and cricket history. He is also a columnist for the newspapers The Telegraph , and The Hindustan Times.-Early life and education:Born in Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, India in 1958, Guha studied...

,
In 2005, Professor Béteille received the Padma Bhushan
Padma Bhushan
The Padma Bhushan is the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan, but comes before the Padma Shri. It is awarded by the Government of India.-History:...

 as a mark of recognition for his work in the field of Sociology. The same year he was appointed a member of the Prime Minister's National Knowledge Commission
National Knowledge Commission
On 13 June 2005 , the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, constituted the National Knowledge Commission, as a think-tank charged with considering possible policy that might sharpen India's comparative advantage in the knowledge-intensive service sectors.In particular, the Commission was to...

. In 2006, following a proposal for increasing caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

-based reservations, Andre Beteille quit the Commission in protest. In 2006, he was made National Professor.

Béteille was born in Chandannagore - the youngest of three brothers and a sister. His father was mayor of the Chandannagore Municipality. He was educated in Calcutta - where the family shifted after independence. He graduated from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta
St. Xavier's College, Calcutta
St. Xavier's College is located in Kolkata, India, and is named after St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit saint of the 16th century, who travelled to India. It is an autonomous college affiliated to the University of Calcutta. It gained autonomy in July 2006, thus becoming the first autonomous college of...

 and joined Delhi School of Economics for further studies.

Essays


Selected quotes

  • "The Indian intelligentsia has somewhat mixed attitudes towards the Indian village. While educated Indians are inclined to think or at least speak well of the village, they do not show much inclination for the company of villagers."
  • "In the past, Indian society was unique in the extremes of which it carried the principle and practice of inequality; today Indian intellectuals appear unique in their zeal for promoting the adoption of equality in every sphere of society."
  • "The vitality of a religion depends on a continuous critique of it by its own reflective members."
  • "A civilisation that cannot accommodate a variety of traditions, seeking to maintain a jealous hold on only one single tradition, can hardly be called a civilisation."
  • "The practice of untouchability
    Untouchability
    Untouchability is the social practice of ostracizing a minority group by segregating them from the mainstream by social custom or legal mandate. The excluded group could be one that did not accept the norms of the excluding group and historically included foreigners, nomadic tribes, law-breakers...

     is indeed reprehensible and must be condemned by one and all; but that does not mean that we should now begin to regard it as a form of racial discrimination. The Scheduled Castes of India taken together are no more a race than are the Brahmins taken together. Every social group cannot be regarded as a race simply because we want to protect it against prejudice and discrimination." http://www.hinduonnet.com/2001/06/03/stories/13030611.htm
  • "Treating caste as a form of race is politically mischievous; what is worse, it is scientifically nonsensical" http://www.hinduonnet.com/2001/06/03/stories/13030611.htm

global thinker award given by iilm (2011
)

See also

  • Partha Chatterjee
    Partha Chatterjee
    Partha Chatterjee is a Subaltern Studies and Postcolonial scholar. He is a multi-disciplinary scholar, with special emphasis on political science, anthropology and history. Chatterjee received Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2009 for his contributions in Academics.-Education:He completed a B.A...

  • Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
    Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
    Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is an Indian literary critic, theorist and a University Professor at Columbia University. She is best known for the essay "Can the Subaltern Speak?", considered a founding text of postcolonialism, and for her translation of Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology. She...

  • Dipesh Chakrabarty
    Dipesh Chakrabarty
    Dipesh Chakrabarty is a Bengali historian who has also made contributions to postcolonial theory and subaltern studies.He attended Presidency College of the University of Calcutta, where he received his undergraduate degree in physics. He also received a diploma in business management from the...

  • Edgar Thurston
    Edgar Thurston
    Edgar Thurston CIE was a British museologist and ethnographer working in colonial Southern India. In 1885 he was appointed to the Madras Government Museum, where he held the role of Superintendent...


External links