The politics of recognition have thus allowed those Dalit individuals better positioned in the class hierarchy to take advantage of the opportunities offered for recognition. Furthermore, a politics of recognition without redistribution is limited even in its pursuit of respect in a largely rural society where dignity and respect are bound up with landownership and use. Landownership has been a source of self-respect and a claim to respectful treatment from others across the Indian countryside (Bhatia 2005). For the majority of rural Dalits, their landlessness has left them completely dependent on landlords. The skewed labour relations engendered by this pattern of land ownership has been a source of enduring humiliation among Dalits and has exposed them to continued exploitation by their employers (Bhatia 2005). Respect for Dalits can only be meaningfully secured through a direct intervention in the labour relations between them and other castes—either through land redistribution, heightened minimum wage regulation, or other redistributive measures. The aim of a politics of recognition— parity in participation in social life—can only be achieved with redistribution. All of this is not to deny the value of a politics of recognition. Dalits have been denied dignity and respect, even their humanity has too often been denied. These harms are indeed injustices of recognition and demand remedies of recognition of equal worth. However, a Dalit politics of recognition that is unable to substantiate a redistributive agenda is doomed to be shallow, bringing tangible gains to those better off in class terms while permitting at best symbolic achievements for many. Furthermore, such a politics ignores the interrelated nature of economic and social relations: without signiﬁcant redistribution, Dalits are fated to continued dependence on higher castes to make ends meet. This economic dependence in turn fosters relations of exploitation that preclude the parity of participation in social life to which a politics of recognition aspires. Indian democracy can only be (at most) a partial success without the full social and economic incorporation of the country’s most oppressed and marginalised groups.