A Study of the Caste System in Northern Sri Lanka
Caste, while being one of the dominant socio-economic institutions in the Indian and Sri Lankan societies is also one of the most complicated because of its multiple ramifications. Numerous scholars and researchers have made in-depth studies of the subject and their conclusions in turn have evoked further interest and queries on the subject.
The present study offers a substantial detour into the operational aspects of the system. The main focus of the study lies in the historical reconstruction from the pre-colonial period. An innovative turn of the study is its efforts to cull evidence and information from the literary productions authored by the very victims who suffered under the system. Anti-caste movements and their socio-political transformations form one section. Speaking to and listening from the victims and the perpetrators is the most revealing part of this study, which is a contemporaneous and existent situation. This process has also revealed the different modes of caste operation in the three different regions in Northern Sri Lanka which were covered in the research.
Selvy Thiruchandran is one of the founder members of Women's Education and Research Centre in Colombo and continued to serve as its Executive Director. Presently she serves as one of the commissioners of the Right To Information Commission.