Subramanian’s The Caste of Merit addresses the issue of educational inequality in colonial and independent India, focusing on the Indian Institutes of Technology (iits) that have trained the engineering elites since the 1950s. The members of the high caste who initially comprised this group ascribed their personal success to merit, not to background. India’s policy of allowing disadvantaged caste groups to enter the (iits), however, challenged the high castes’ representation of their educational privilege as simply a matter of talent. Subramanian’s view of the upper-caste position as an attempt to forestall progress toward a more egalitarian Indian society opens a methodological debate about the fundamental epistemic demands that scholars must satisfy before they adopt social causes above and beyond the conveying of objective information.

You do not currently have access to this content.