Sambaiah Gundimeda

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Indian Politics & Government
  • The Making of Constitution of India
  • Democracy and Democratization
  • Political Parties
  • Multiculturalism


Sambaiah Gundimeda (Sam as he is fondly known) holds degrees in Political Science from Andhra Loyola College, Vijayawada, University of Hyderabad and School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He taught at Vignan Degree College (now, Vignan University), Guntur approximately for two years (19961998), before reassuming his studies in 1999. In 2002 Sam has secured the prestigious Ford Foundation Fellowship (India Programme) Award to pursue his PhD at SOAS. He was a Teaching Associate in the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS (200709), and an Assistant Professor at Council for Social Development (CSD), Hyderabad (20112014). He was also a Charles Wallace Visiting Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh (2013), a Visiting Associate Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi (2014), and a Fellow (Associate Professor) at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), New Delhi (201517). Sam writes both in English and Telugu and has published widely that includes books, research papers, book chapters and essays in learned journals. 

Publications and Writings


  • Dalit Politics in Contemporary India. New York: Routledge, 2016.

Research Papers

  • Cow Protection in India: From Secularising to Legitimating Debates”. With V.S. Ashwin, South Asia Research, Vol 38, Issue 2, pp. 156 — 176, May 20, 2018.
  • Caste, Media and Political Power in Andhra Pradesh: The case of Eenadu”, by History and Sociology of South Asia (HSSA), 11(2): 192 – 203 (July 2017).
  • Dalit Activism in Telugu Country, 1917 – 30” in South Asia Research, 36(3): 322 – 42 (November, 2016).
  • BahujanSamaj Party: Between Social Justice and Political Practice” in Social Change, 44 (1):21 – 38, (2014).
  • Democratisation of the Public Sphere: The Beef Stall Case in Hyderabad’s Sukoon Festival”, South Asia Research, 29(2): 1 – 27, (2009).
  • Dalits, PrajaRajyam Party and Caste Politics in Andhra Pradesh”, Economic and Political Weekly,44 (21): 50 – 58, (2009).

Book Chapters

  • Social Justice and the Question of Categorization of Dalit Reservations: The Dandora Debate in Andhra Pradesh”, in Ramnarayan S Rawat and K. Satyanarayan (eds.), Dalit Studies: New Perspectives on South Asian Society and History. Durham: Duke University Press (forthcoming).
  • Claiming Right to Represent: Dalits and Public Sphere” in K. Purushotham, GoguShyamala and Gita Ramaswamy (eds.), Oxford India Anthology of Telugu Dalit Writing. New Delhi: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
  • Democratization of the Public Sphere: The Beef Stall case in Hyderabad’s Sukoon Festival” in Tharu, Susie and K Satyanarayana (eds).,From Those Stubs, Steel Nibs Are Sprouting: New Dalit Writing From South India, Dossier II. New Delhi: Harper Collins, 2013.
  • MadigaDandora: A Social Movement for Rationalization of Dalit Reservations”, in Yagati, Chinnarao (ed.) Dividing Dalits: Writings on the sub-categorization of Scheduled Castes. New Delhi: Rawat Publications, pp:106 – 156, (2010).


  • Legitimating a Hindu Religious Practice: The Making of Article 48 in the Constituent Assembly of India”, by India Review (D‑16 – 00025).
  • From arguing for poor man’s food to claiming of dung as more valuable than Kohinoor diamond: Debating cow in the Indian Judiciary”, by Economic and Political Weekly (Ref​.No: 16695).


Gundimeda, Sambaiah, V. B. Tharakeshwar and Uma Bhrugubanda (eds.), What’s the Menu — Food Politics and Hegemony. Anveshi Broadsheet on contemporary politics, Vol. 1 (4), September 2012.

Essays in Learned Journals

Working Papers

  • In Search of Equality: Caste and Dalit Strategies in Contemporary India’, in Hyderabad Social Development Papers: Council for Social Development, Hyderabad, 1(1 – 4): 89 – 111, (2012).
  • For Social Equality and Political Representation: Dalit Activism in Telugu Country, 1917 – 30’, in Hyderabad Social Development Papers: Council for Social Development, Hyderabad, 2(1 – 4): 21 – 40, (2013).

Publications in Telugu Language


  • BrahmanatvaMalatvamaa?…ManavatmaAmbedkaratvamaa…?(Brahmanical Mala Casteism or Humanistic Ambedkarism? Discussion on the Question of Categorization), (Hyderabad: Rajyam Publications, 2006).
  • SaamaajikaNyaayamKosam (For Social Justice), (Narasaraopet: Bahujana Publications, 2010).


Professional Activities

Recent Invited Lectures

  • Review of Literature, Satavahana University, Karimnagar, Telangana on 05 February, 2016 [Part of Research Methodology programme for PhD Students in social Sciences – 03 Feb. 2016 to 12 Feb. 2016].
  • Dalit Issues and Struggles, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad, 21 February, 2013.
  • The role of caste in Contemporary India, Council on International Educational Exchange, Study in India Program, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, 12 July, 2012.
  • Caste in India, Asmita Resource Centre for Women, Secunderabad, 28 June, 2012.
  • Caste, Hegemony and the state of democracy in India: An analysis of the film Leader’ and beyond, Department of Cultural Studies, English and Foreign Languages University, 25 April, 2012
  • Convener for National Symposium on Telugu Literature: Contemporary Politics & Socio-Economic Movements, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad, August 30 – 312012.

Academic Honours and Prizes

  • Charles Wallace India Trust Visiting Fellow at IASH, University of Edinburgh, 2013
  • Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program Award, 2002
  • Gold Medal, Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad, 1994 – 96
  • National Educational Test Eligibility for Lectureship in Political Science, University Grants Commission, December 2000.

Papers Presented

  • Is Dalit a withering away category?”, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar International Conference Quest for Equity, Government of Karnataka, Bengaluru, 21 – 23 July, 2017.
  • Debating cow in the Indian Judiciary”, International Workshop on Religion and Law: Colonial and Post-Colonial Encounters, Centre for the Study of Comparative Religious and Civilizations, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, 9,10, 11 March 2016.
  • Fighting to be heard: Dalits and Media in South India”, International Conference on The Challenges of Moving Ahead: From Deprival to Dignity of Dalits, Ch. S.D. St. Theresa’s Autonomous College for Women, Eluru, and Adikavi Nannaya University, Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh, India, 7 – 9 November, 2014.
  • Reservations for the Dalits: Some Contemporary Questions’, The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, 16 October 2013.
  • Fractured Mobilizations: Dalit Movement and Politics in Contemporary Andhra Pradesh”, International Conference on Institutionalising Marginal Actors: Processes, Policies, Practices and Pitfalls, University of Edinburgh, 18 – 19 September 2013.
  • From the politics of Self-Respect to the politics of packages’: An assessment of the Telugu Desam Party from an Ambedkarite perspective”, International Conference on Governance, Democracy and Political Parties, The Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia and Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad, 1 – 3 December, 2012.
  • Caste and Political Power in India: An analysis of the film Leader’”, C PACSIS International Conference on Cinema Cultures in South India, Thrissur, Kerala (India), 13 – 14 October, 2012
  • Rethinking State Structure in India: How Small States Matters for Democratization”, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) – Southern Regional Centre, Hyderabad, sponsored National Seminar on New States and Social Movements, University PG College, Satavahana University, Karimnagar, 5 – 6 October, 2012.
  • Freedom through preferential treatment: Ambedkar in our times”, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR) sponsored National Seminar on State and Freedom: Ambedkar’s Perspective, Department of Philosophy, Pondicherry University, 27 – 29 September, 2012.
  • For Social Equality and Political Representation: The Adi-Hindu Activity in Hyderabad”, Indian Council of Historical Research sponsored National Seminar on Socio-Religious and Cultural Responses of India to Colonial Rule in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Andhra Loyola College, Vijayawada (AP – India), 17 – 18 August, 2012
  • Ambedkar on Caste, Equality and Social Justice”, Indian Council for Philosophical Research sponsored National Seminar on Issues in Ambedkar Studies, Department of Philosophy, School of Humanities, Pondicherry University, 23 – 24 July, 2012.
  • Caste, political power and the state of democracy in India: An analysis of the film Leader’ and beyond”, National Seminar on Law and Literature, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) from 12 – 14 February, 2012.
  • Reading Ambedkar Today: Contemporary Dalit political Strategies to go beyond caste”, — at International Seminar on Annihilation of Caste’ at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, 21 – 23 November, 2011.
  • Dalits, Praja Rajyam Party and Caste Politics in Contemporary Andhra Pradesh”, British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS), Annual Conference 2009, University of Edinburgh, March 30th – April 1st.
  • Social Justice and the Question of Categorisation of SC Reservations: the Dandora debate in AP”, in Dalit Agendas: Emancipation, Citizenship, and Empowerment, December 4 – 6, 2008, Center for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
  • Democratization of Public Sphere: A case of Beef-stall in HCU Sukoon Festival”, 20th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies (ECMSAS), July 8 – 11, 2008; School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, University of Manchester, UK.
  • Challenging Brahmanism and Liberal Representation: Caste and Dalit Politics in Contemporary North India”, Centre of South Asian Studies, SOAS, University of London, 13 June, 2007.
  • From Jambavanta to Krishna Madiga: Caste and Ideology among the Madigas of Andhra Pradesh”, University of Manchester, Manchester, 16 May, 2007.
  • Acceptance or Dissent? The Question of Caste among the Dalits in Andhra Pradesh”, Department of Political Science, SOAS, May 92007.
  • Struggle for Self-Representation and Recognition: Contours of Dalit Politics in Contemporary India”, PIIRS Graduate Student Conference, Princeton University, April 7 – 82006.
  • Madiga Dandora: A Scheduled Caste Movement for Redistribution and Recognition”, London School of Economics and Politics, South Asia Seminar, October 112005.
  • Social Democracy: Relevance of Ambedkar’s perspective in Contemporary India”, The International Dalit Conference: Dalit vision for the 21st Century, Vancouver, Canada, 16 – 18 May 2003.
  • Emergence of caste consciousness among the Madigas of Andhra Pradesh”, The Fourth Essex Conference in Political Theory, Rhetoric and Politics — University of Essex, Department of Government, 9 – 10 May, 2003.