This article analyses the involvement of the Dalits (formerly ‘untouchables’) in the World Social Forum (WSF) processes. The focus will be on one networked organization in particular, the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) as a key organization which served as a catalyst for linking the Dalit struggle against neoliberal globalization and casteism with the social forum process and the global justice movement. The article argues that the Dalit struggle, domestically and internationally, can best be understood from a Polanyian perspective, as a countermovement for social protection against neoliberal globalization. It examines the dialectic of globalization within an Indian context first in terms of the impact of neoliberal globalization upon the Dalit community and then the NCDHR’s decision to go global, to the WSF. In taking their cause beyond India, a central focus of Dalit activity remains rooted in making the Indian state serve as a means of social protection for the Dalit peoples.
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