Suryakant Waghmore

Associate Professor

Dr. Waghmore has B.A in Political Science, History and Economics from Karnataka University (1999) and M.A in Community Development  from TISS (2001). He completed his PhD in Sociology as a Commonwealth Scholar from University of Edinburgh (2010). 


Before joining IIT Waghmore was Professor and Chairperson at the Centre for Social Justice and Governance at TISS. He has held visiting affiliations at Centre for South Asia - Stanford University; School of Humanities - Hyderabad Central University; Centre for Modern Indian Studies - Univeristy of Göttingen. 

Research Interests: 

My research has encompassed a mixed method approach to study social exclusion, politics at margins, policy processes and state-civil society relations. I have been using ethnography, with other qualitative research methods and descriptive statistics to underline how social exclusion operates in India. Ethnography has helped me keep my research outcomes nuanced. For instance while studying caste, I have focused on aspects of emotions – humour and anger to theorise caste better. This has helped me frame broader theoretical arguments on vernacular modernity in Indian subcontinent.

On the other hand I have also done policy relevant research that has helped corporations and state bodies. I have completed a research on Katkaris, one of the most vulnerable tribal groups in Maharashtra. While working with govt. and non-government development agencies over the years, I closely observed the influence of cultural politics on development processes and how state and non-state actors converge and disperse to institutionalize deprivation. This interface of culture, state and social exclusion processes has continued to be a major area of my research interest.

My research also explores social movements of  traditionally marginalised groups and their attempts of achieving genuine civility and democracy in the Indian context. Current research interest includes a focus on changing forms of caste etiquette in modern India. 



  • From the Margins to the Mainstream: Institutionalising Minorities in South Asia, Co-edited with Hugo Goringe and Roger Jeffery. Sage (2015)
  • Civility against Caste: Dalit Politics and Citizenship in Western India, Sage (2013)   

Recent Papers

    • Beyond Depoliticisation? Caste, NGOs and Dalit Land Rights in Maharahstra, India. Development and Change. 2012. Vol. 42 (6).
    • Sanrachnatmak Hinsa Aur Swasthya ke Pariched (with Qudsiya Contractor) in Imrana Qader (ed.) Dalit Mahilaon ka Swasthya evam Adhikar. 2012, pp. 260-271, Penguin Publications, New Delhi [In Hindi]

Book Reviews

  • The Caste Question: Dalits and Politics of Modern India, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 2010.Vol 44, No.3, Pp 440-443.
  • Globalising Social Justice, Social Movement Studies. 2011. Vol. 10 (4).
  • The Problem of Caste. Satish Deshpande, ed. Contributions to Indian Sociology, 2015. Vol. 49. Pp 413-416.

From Hierarchy to Hindu Politeness at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 13th October, 2015

On the Banality of Caste Violence,  South Asia Seminar Series – Oxford University, June 21st 2015

Peasant Kings and Untouchable Citizens. Keynote delivered at the 2nd Annual South Asia by the Bay Graduate Student Conference, Centre for South Asia Stanford, May 17 2013.

  • Withering Caste in Urban Locales? (Sponsored by ICSSR 2015-2017)
  • Marginal Populations, Social Mobilisation and Development,  UKIERI Thematic Collaboration with colleagues from TISS and University of Edinburgh (Funded by British Council, 2012 - 2016)
  • Colonialism, Caste and Violence. Funded by IRCC-IITB (2016-2019)